By Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – People are more interested in changing the ruling party next year, rather than in which candidate the Kuomintang wants to change, Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday.
The frontrunner in the January 16 presidential election was responding to the news that the KMT would hold a special congress on October 17, which was highly likely to result in the replacement of Legislative Vice Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu as its presidential candidate by party chairman Eric Liluan Chu.
Asked whether she was planning to adapt her campaign strategy in the face of Chu’s likely emergence, Tsai said the Taiwanese public probably did not care all that much what kind of candidate the KMT would present, since they were more concerned with changing the party in power early next year.
Conducting a campaign meant going along with the flow, and presenting the best possible team and the best possible policies to win the support of the public, Tsai said.
The day after the KMT congress, the DPP leader will officially preside over the opening of her campaign headquarters. She denied reports Tuesday she was going to use the occasion to present her vice-presidential candidate. The running mate will emerge when his or her time has come, Tsai said.
She also denied allegations from a KMT legislative candidate that prominent members of the current KMT-led Cabinet had held secret meetings with her. Tsai dismissed the reports as mere political electioneering talk which should not be taken seriously.
Tsai has been leading all potential KMT candidates and People First Party Chairman James Soong for months, making her election seem virtually unavoidable. The KMT’s move to replace its presidential contender has mainly been seen as an attempt to improve the chances of the party’s legislative candidates.