Sixth contender announces bid for KMT leadership election

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A former legislator Friday announced her bid to run for the chairmanship of the main opposition Kuomintang, becoming the sixth contender in the upcoming election. Pan Wei-kang, announcing her bid for the KMT’s top post, said she intended to introduce a series of reforms that were intended to bring back the nation’s trust in the party. Pan denied allegations her campaign was a ploy to complicate the election to help former Vice President Wu Den-yih, who is seen as a favorite in the race.

She was flanked by a few KMT heavyweights in support of her bid at her press conference in Taipei, including the party’s former vice chairwoman Lin Cheng-chi. Pan, a six-term legislator who left the party in 2016, is expected to undermine incumbent KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu’s support from the military community. Elsewhere in Yilan, the reelection-seeking Hung Hsiu-chu said that it remained hard to say how much Pan’s voter base overlapped with hers.

Hung said every candidate had his or her own supporters in different areas and that inevitably would be an overlap. The key is the ability to win actual votes, she added. Former Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin is among the contenders for the top KMT post. As the son of former Premier Hau Pei-tsun — a former four-star military general — Hau is expected to have strong support from the military community.