By James Lo, The China Post
In a wide-ranging radio interview Wednesday, Kuomintang leadership candidate Wu Den-yih said his party’s “integrity” prevented it from “cultivating politicians” in the same way as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Wu said former President and ex-party leader Ma Ying-jeou’s integrity and fears he would accused of favoritism saw him unwilling to promote close aides and associates to higher positions.
The former vice president then made a sideways dig at the ruling party, saying the appointment of President Tsai ing-wen’s cousin Lin Mei-chu (林美珠) as Labor Minister and the prevalence of former aides in top government jobs showed that the DPP was “better at cultivating politicians.” While not addressing incumbent party chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) by name, Wu said that it was the responsibility of the party’s chairman to ensure that membership applications from those with links to organized crime were filtered out. Wu said it was impossible to know if any of his rivals for the party’s leadership were actively recruiting into the party those with links to criminal gangs as a means of swaying the election. Asked if he agreed with former KMT Vice Chairman Steve Chan’s (詹啟賢) that the new party leader should act as the party’s presidential nominee in 2020, Wu he didn’t believe it necessary, but added that he himself would accept the nomination if asked. He said the KMT shouldn’t limit itself to just the party’s chairman when searching for a nominee, suggesting that others such as failed presidential candidate and current Mayor of New Taipei Eric Chu (朱立倫) could also be considered.
Ma’s integrity would not allow him to openly endorse a candidate, said Wu On the topic of former President Ma Ying-jeou’s presence at KMT leadership election candidate Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) public event, Wu said Ma has no problem with attending events of his fellow party members. But Wu added that due to Ma’s personal values, integrity and position as the nation’s former president, it was unlikely that the former president would openly endorse a candidate. In related news, KMT Legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) will hold a press conference on Friday, with reports saying she will announce her own bid for the party’s leadership.