By Yuan-Ming Chiao, The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (������) yesterday reiterated comments he made on Sunday relating to being ��duty bound�� to run as the Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate in 2016 should he be drafted by the party, while adding today that he wanted to be the ��seed of party unity,�� no matter the decision the party ultimately makes. Wang, Chu Deny Having Reached a Deal Both Wang and Chu have denied speculation from the media that a deal has already been worked out between the two men on the party’s nomination.
Chu told reporters yesterday that before May 16, the party deadline for entering the primary, he had urged potential candidates, including Wang and Hung to seek the nomination while maintaining party solidarity. He also reiterated previous statements that every part of the primary would be run according to regulations and that Hung as the only registered participant would be given an opportunity to present her policy platform and be given a fairly conducted opinion poll. Meanwhile, an unnamed KMT legislator of Taipei City revealed yesterday that Wang’s remarks will probably not prevent Hung from passing the party’s opinion poll threshold; but that the speaker’s ultimate power lies in his influence over members of the KMT’s Central Standing Committee (CSC), which must formally approve any party nominee. According to the legislator, the party chairman’s approval will not be overridden by the CSC. A deal between the two men that eliminated Hung should she pass the opinion poll ��would be the end of the KMT,�� the legislator surmised.
Wang’s comments over the last two days have drawn attention and speculation over the prospects of how the KMT will proceed with its primaries. While party Chairman Eric Chu (���߭�), who also serves as mayor of New Taipei City, insists that the KMT will run its primary according to party rules and regulations, speculation from party elites and the media now suggest that with Wang’s comments, the outlook for hopeful Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (�x�q�W) is again murkier than previously thought.