Meet the 5 Candidates for KMT Chair

Meet the 5 Candidates for KMT Chair
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

The election will be held on May 20.

Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Chinese Nationalist Party, also known as the Kuomintang (KMT) is set to elect its new chairperson on May 20.

Five senior KMT members have already officially announced to run for chair: current KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), former KMT vice chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) and Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co. Chairman Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). Just yesterday, former KMT legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) announced that she also intends to become a candidate for the chair, potentially becoming the sixth contestant in the race.

Hung Hsiu-chu

Photo Credit: 洪秀柱

As the current KMT chairwoman, Hung on Jan. 1 announced that she will run for a consecutive term. She was the former vice president of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s parliament, and has been a KMT legislator for 26 years. She was elected as chairwoman in March 2016. Amid controversy from the party, Hung met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in November 2016, marking another milestone in cross-Strait communications.

Hau Lung-bin

資料照片。Photo Credit: AP / 達志影像

Hau currently serves as one of the four KMT vice chairmen, and on Jan. 7 announced that he would run for party chair. He formerly served as mayor of Taipei for two consecutive terms, and was also the minister of the Environmental Protection Administration from 2001 to 2003.

Wu Den-yih

Photo Credit: Chen Su 公有領域

Former Vice President Wu is the third candidate in the race. He was Kaohsiung City mayor for eight years and the county magistrate of Nantou County for another eight. Before he became vice president in 2012, he was the Premier from 2009 to 2012. Wu publicly criticized Hung’s policies for the party in October 2016, saying that they are “out of step with the KMT.”

Han Kuo-yu

Photo Credit:翻攝自中央社

Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co. (TAPMC) Chairman Han on Jan. 12 announced that he would join the race. Han was a KMT legislator before he became the chairman of TAPMC in 2012. He is well-known for his public persona and his candidacy is supported by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who said that Han gives the party the possibility of choosing a “non-traditional candidate.”

Steve Chan

ChanChiShean, 詹啟賢
Photo Credit:Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0

Chan was a vice chairman of KMT, but resigned on Jan. 7 and announced on Jan. 23 his bid for KMT chairman. Chan has previously served as minister of the Department of Health, president of the National Health Research Institutes, and chairman of Adimmune Corp. Chan was reportedly dissatisfied with Hung’s disclosure of internal party discussions and negotiations regarding the party’s ongoing assets investigation, saying Hung’s handling of the issue “was extremely unwise.”

Editor: Olivia Yang