Saturday, December 24, 2016

Taiwan News Number 5: KMT Chair election

A woman feeds stray dogs.

This week my piece was on the KMT's Chairmanship election, which has been moved up from Aug to May of 2107.
Potential rivals are few, and all are wounded. The "princelings," the children of KMT elites, lack appeal. Eric Chu, the current Mayor of New Taipei City, the one municipality still controlled by the KMT, performed poorly in the Presidential election and worse, is half-Taiwanese and thus suspect to many staunch mainlander voters. Hau Long-bin, the son of reactionary old KMT heavyweight Hau Pei-tsun and the former mayor of Taipei, lost an easy legislative election in 2016 in Keelung, long a KMT stronghold. Other names frequently mentioned include princeling Sean Lien, the son of heavyweight Lien Chan, who lacks appeal outside the deep Blues, and former Vice President Wu Den-yi, whose power base is in sparsely populated Nantou and who is Taiwanese. Except for Wu, who is a formidable politician with deep links throughout the party, none are likely to pose a great challenge to Hung.
I consider Wu more of a threat, in the sense that Huang Min-hui was a threat, because he is Taiwanese and can appeal to that large and dissatisfied wing. I have heard it was Wu who helped keep the KMT in line in the second Administration of Ma, when grumbling was widespread. Hau is also revered by the Old Soldiers since he is the son of the reactionary politician and general Hau Pei-tsun. But that loss in Keelung really hurt him.

After I wrote this and sent it in, Hau came out against the recent moves to change the position of the Old Soldiers in the party, indicating he is probably courting their votes. Perhaps he will run in May. If the Old Soldier votes, which determine the outcome, are split, then someone like Wu may have a chance. But in the end I still expect Hung will win. Hau may be a princeling, but the Old Soldiers can see that Hung is one of them. Moreover, Hung is an authoritarian ideologue and more KMT than the KMT, while Hau had to govern in the real world and lacks those qualities... UPDATE: Hau and Wu are leagued against Hung.

KMT-sympathetic news orgs were reporting that Ma was considering a run too. Still no new blood...

2020? Whoever becomes Chairman is automatically the next presidential candidate. I doubt the KMT will become wise enough to separate the two; the DPP certainly hasn't. Want to know who the next KMT candidates will be? Watch who makes pilgrimages to China to receive the blessing of the CCP...
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


TaiwanJunkie said...

Thank you Michael for the detailed analysis of the KMT implosion. This slow moving train crash is of extreme importance to make sure the pro China elements within Taiwan is truly dissolving into the dustbin of history.

Jenna Cody said...


Though I could imagine the KMT continuing to dig itself deeper into this rut for the next 100 years for sure, I think you mean 2017!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Hung half-Taiwanese?