Hau Lung-bin decides to run for KMT party chair

Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (???) on Saturday expressed his intention to run in his party's election for chairman on May 20.

He also said that he hoped all aspirants to the post will pledge that the party chair will not serve as a springboard to the next post.

Hau posted an article titled: "(I) only want a selfless party chairman election" on his Facebook page earlier Saturday, saying that he has seen the party "on a downhill course," and that the public is not satisfied with the current situation.

"Rather than sit waiting, it's better to rise and act," he said, adding that "I've decided to enter the race after careful thought."

On attending an activity by the World Kuo Family Association Saturday, Hau was asked whether he would be persuaded to stay out of the race. He stressed that the purpose is to have a "selfless party chair election."

Some reports have said that aspirants in the party chair election could be persuded to stay out of the race to prevent lingering animosity among different factions of the party and a further split of the troubled former ruling party, leaving an open path for another aspirant, former Vice President Wu Den-yih (??? ), to win.

"The most important thing is selflessness and devotion," Hau said. "I want to build an election platform for all and not let others build an election platform for me," Hau said

Hau emphasized that two things are important, the first being that the party leader should not have the next post in mind when seeking chairmanship.

"A party leader should be clear that he should work for the aspirants for the 2018 local head elections and the party's candidate for the 2018 presidential election," Hau said.

He also said that a party leader should not have his or her own coterie, and should not form factions.

In his Facebook page, Hau noted that the party, with its glorious days in the past century, suffered a drubbing in the 2014 local chief elections and the 2016 presidential and legislative elections, which made him engage in soul-searching about its fate.

He said that over the past two years, he has been hoping and waiting for a party leader to galvanize the disintegrating party, a leader who would make "selflessness" and "devotion" as his or her mission and put the interests of the nation and the party above the considerations of one's power.

Hau said that he admired Hung Hsiu-chu (???) for leading the party at its most difficult time and he respected former Vice President Wu Den-yih.

But he has also seen the party "on a downhill course every day."

No matter how many mistakes the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has made, the KMT seemed to be an outsider except for the party's Legislative caucus.

"The public is not satisfied with the current situation, but they cannot find a force to rely on even as they criticize the rulers," he said.

"In this mindset, I 've begun to think rather than sit waiting, it is better to rise and act," he said.

Former Vice President Wu said Friday that many party members have high expectations of him and have encouraged him "to take on responsibility at this difficult time for the KMT."

"I have to seriously consider the matter, and will make public my intentions on Monday," Wu said.

If Wu does decide to run, it will likely be a three-way election given that Hung has already announced that she will seek another term.

Hung became chairwoman of the KMT in March 2016 after winning a by-election for the position. Her predecessor Eric Chu (???) stepped down to take responsibility for the KMT's defeat in the presidential and legislative elections in January 2016.

There are also reportedly some people who want the more established potential candidates to step aside and allow KMT Legislator Chiang Chi-chen (???) to run, believing that the 44-year-old could inject new vitality into the old party.

The KMT was already demoralized after its major defeat in the 2016 elections, and its predicament has grown worse due to financial difficulties after the new Democratic Progressive Party government moved to seize all of its assets.

The DPP-dominated Legislature passed the Statute on Handling the Inappropriate Assets of Political Parties and Their Affiliated Organizations in July, and the Cabinet set up a committee in August to implement the law.

According to the statute, the committee is to investigate, retroactively confiscate and return or restore to the rightful owners all assets obtained by the KMT and its affiliated organizations since Aug. 15, 1945, when Japan handed over its assets in Taiwan to the Republic of China, at which time the KMT was the ruling party.

The statute assumes that all KMT assets, except for party membership fees, political donations, government subsidies for its candidates running for public office and interest generated from these funds, are "ill-gotten" and must be transferred to the state or returned to their rightful owners.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel