Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party, yesterday said that the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) legislator-at-large nominees are “red [pro-China] and old,” and “out of touch with society.”
Ko made the remarks while visiting temples and helping independent legislative candidate Huang Ting-ho (黃定和) canvass in Yilan County’s Suao Township (蘇澳).
He was responding to media queries regarding the KMT’s list of legislator-at-large nominees, which was first published on Wednesday, but was revised on Friday after being broadly criticized.
The list initially included retired National Police University associate professor Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭), who was placed first; retired lieutenant general Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷), who was fourth; and former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), who was eighth.
Yeh had previously been criticized for saying that young protesters in Hong Kong were “rioters seeing red,” while Chiu was a controversial pick as his loyalty to Taiwan had been questioned.
Wu was criticized for attending an event celebrating the 150th anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) birth in Beijing in 2016 and standing for the Chinese national anthem.
Chiu on Friday voluntarily withdrew from the list.
The revised list, in which Yeh was moved to second, while Wu remained at fourth, was approved by the KMT’s central representatives after a vote yesterday.
Ko said the list of nominees is “red and old” and that “it should be able to connect with society, be down-to-earth, but it is a little out of touch with society.”
“As for the Democratic Progressive Party’s [DPP] list, it is a competition among party factions,” Ko said. “I’m embarrassed to say it is dividing the spoils among its factions, but the list was still decided by the factions. Legislator-at-large nominee lists should be more connected with society.”
Separately yesterday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), in response to media queries about the KMT’s legislator-at-large list, said that although it is the KMT’s business, she wants to remind the party that its interpretations of loyalty to the nation and democracy are seemingly different from society’s interpretation, and has caused public concern, so the KMT should think deeply about it.
The DPP said on Facebook that the KMT’s list has sparked a public uproar and conflict among its party members, because the list is full of people whose words and actions are extremely pro-China, and includes some people with criminal records.
New Power Party Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) yesterday said that the KMT has still kept Wu near the top of the list while KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) was moved down suggested that the KMT has been kidnapped by “deep-blue” and radical forces, and that it is moving further away from what Taiwanese want.
Additional reporting by Chen Yu-fu and Tsai Ching-hua