Han Kuo-yu denies hand-picking KMT hopeful in by-election

Photo courtesy of Li Mei-jhen's campaign office.

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) rebuked claims on Wednesday that he had a hand in selecting Kaohsiung City Councilor Li Mei-jhen (李眉蓁) as the candidate for the opposition Kuomintang (KMT, 國民黨) in the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election.

Li was chosen by the KMT to run against former vice premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, 民進黨) and City Councilor Wu Yi-jheng (吳益政) of Taiwan’s People’s Party (TPP, 台灣民眾黨) in the mayoral by-election on Aug. 15.

According to Chinese-language media, there was a chance that Han had personally advocated for Li to become the KMT’s candidate in the by-election. 

In a post to Facebook, Han wanted to make it clear that he had no say in the selection process. He pleaded to local media, asking them to not report false information. 

He added that the entire KMT will continue to support their candidate.

Li also clarified her relationship with Han, saying that after the mayor was impeached, she had only met Han once in the mourning hall of the late Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Hsu Kun-yuan. 

Finally, she commented on rumors that KMT Secretary-General Lee Chieng-lung had arrived in Kaohsiung to assist her election and the Kaohsiung City Council Speaker election.

She added that she has not been informed of his arrival and does not know the reason as to why he would be in Kaohsiung.

In Han’s absence, the Executive Yuan has appointed former Kaohsiung City Government Secretary-General Yang Ming-jou (楊明州) to serve as the acting mayor.