Han Kuo-yu announces KMT chairmanship bid

The China Post

By James Lo — Surrounding himself with a mountain of cabbages, Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co. (TAPMC) Chairman Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) confirmed rumors Thursday that he would be throwing his hat into the ring for the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) leadership. Han, speaking at a press conference, said he had organized the meet to clarify his position regarding his TAPMC resignation, and to officially declare his candidacy for the election. Much like his public persona that catapulted him to recent fame, Han conducted the press conference with his usual flair and articulation, providing media with a colorful statement that explained his reasons for running.

Elections were like catwalks, Han said, “where the more models there are, the easier it is for people to see who truly has what it takes.” Han said that unlike some of his fellow contenders, he would not be exploiting the “iconic former President Chiang Ching-kuo,” going on to say that the accomplishments of the late president only make the shortcomings of the current KMT more apparent. Other candidates have been invoking the example set by the former leader. He also added that the approval rate of the party did not increase at a satisfactory rate even in the wake of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) incompetence and arrogance, which clearly showsed that the KMT has lost its appeal with the general public. Mayoral Ambitions Han said that was the reason why he had brought with him a mountain of cabbages, as it represented the hardworking grassroots demographic, a constituency that needs nurturing and care, and urged KMT voters to give him a chance.

He added that he would also consider running for either Tainan City or Kaohsiung City mayor on behalf of the party in 2018 if no one would rise to the challenge in the largely pan-green cities. Han then addressed his platform regarding the current KMT assets drama, saying that aside from pension funds for party workers, the KMT should donate the rest of its assets so that the party may cut ties with its history and progress forward. Regarding his current situation with TAPMC, Han said that he would not be utilizing any resources from the organization, and asked TAPMC to expedite the process of his resignation so that he could begin his campaign across the country. Han Received Support from Two Taipei Mayors. In response to Han’s election declaration, both incumbent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and former Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) provided statements to show their support. Nontraditional Candidate Ko said that Han provides the KMT with a breath of fresh air, which gives the party the possibility of choosing a nontraditional candidate. Ko said that although he was unsure if something new is always a good thing, he was sure that the KMT will continue to fail if it continued to follow its old traditions. Han’s fellow chairmanship contender Hau also stated that he had a good experience working with Han, and that Han displayed the qualities of a good candidate through his fearlessness in the face of the DPP’s provocations during recent events involving TAPMC.