Wu Den-yih announces bid for KMT leadership

By James Lo, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Former Vice President Wu Den-yih declined to rule out the possibility of a presidential run, as he announced his bid for the Kuomintang (KMT) leadership Monday. Wu held a press conference at the NTUH International Convention Center to declare his candidacy, with the event attended by several former and current KMT legislators. The former vice president is the third candidate to confirm his intention to seek the opposition’s chairmanship, joining former Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, and incumbent Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu, who is seeking reelection. During his speech, Wu spoke extensively of his past accomplishments, especially of his time as Premier under former President Ma Ying-jeou.

‘Power under unity’ Wu’s speech centered on the concept of “leading the party to reclaim power under unity.” Wu also quoted KMT party founder Sun Yat-sen, and was brought to tears when speaking of the lessons he received from former President Chiang Ching-kuo. In closing, the former vice president said that as a member of the KMT who had been nurtured by the party for the last 40 years, it was his responsibility to step up and run for the party’s leadership. However, the attention of local media was focused on whether Wu would follow rival Hau’s election promise to refrain from seeking the office of the president should he win the chairperson election. In response, Wu said that the presidential race in 2020 was still “many years away,” and that finding the most suitable candidate would require “a lot of observation of different aspects of the KMT to find the best person possible.” Wu said that the most pressing matter was to rebuild the KMT to allow it “reclaim its former reputation step by step,” saying the party should avoid “rushing too far ahead into the future.” Wu later went on to talk about his experience in 2008, where he entered an election to seek a bid as a legislator while retaining the position of KMT Secretary-General. Wu said that as secretary-general, he was willing to give the KMT his best efforts, even when it meant that he had to step up personally to help the opposition secure a legislative seat. Wu’s Declaration Met with Recognition In related news, the former vice-president’s election announcement was met positively within the opposition, including approvals from his fellow contenders. Hung said that she was very delighted to observe the maturing of civil democracy within the KMT. She said that she hopes to set an exemplary election with her fellow peers, one that would eventually assemble a stronger opposition party that would impact the current government. Hau made a similar statement to Hung, stating that he welcomes the former vice president into the race, and that it is pleasant to see three different types of leaders emerge to take on such a responsibility.