Ko gets the most from the KMT race
By Hong Tsun-ming
The dust settled after the results of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential race were announced and former New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) emerged victorious. Even though he was supposed to win, he failed to get 50 percent of the vote.
This clearly shows that not only are there distinct differences between the leaders, but there are also obvious divisions between the members and supporters of the party.
In the debates, and after the confirmation of his victory, Chu repeatedly called for party unity. The question remains: is he the man for the job, or will he deflect attention, as he always has, by launching attacks on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)?
The KMT has always relied on hostility from manufacturing for the DPP to survive. Former party chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) was never able to lead the whole party, and the blue camp was not happy with the direction they wanted to take them, accusing him of being “green.” clear “. It would have been a shock if he had not been decisively defeated in the election.
On the other side of the spectrum, Sun Yat-sen School President Chang Ya-chung (張亞 中) took a firm stand and saw his star rise through his ability to debate.
Even though Chang faltered at the finish line, he finished the race just 13% behind Chu – who is part of the pan-blue camp establishment, and a former local government chief and party chairman to boot. – and without the approval of any major party figure.
This shows that the blue camp has lost faith in the figures of the KMT establishment. To some extent, he also lost patience with them. As this happened, Chang’s uncompromising stance resonated with their expectations. Clearly there are those party members who are hoping that someone will raise their banner again, beat their drums, attack the DPP and take the breath away of the “Taiwanese secessionists.”
However, it’s not just having to deal with the more hardcore elements of the party that awaits Chu when he returns as party chairman. He will also face divisions within the party over the “one China” issue.
That Chang – who made absolutely no attempt to hide his pro-China, pro-unification stance during the election campaign – could receive so many votes and such staunch support online, could perhaps be explained. by China’s deep-rooted machinations.
It could also suggest that the pro-China, pro-unification mindset that the KMT itself has invited beyond its threshold has now settled into the best seat in the house.
Chu will need to balance the extremes without offending China, while preventing the KMT from drifting towards a pro-unification party alienating it from pan-Blue voters in Taiwan.
It will be a big challenge for him if his party is to take over the presidency in 2024, or if he wants to unite the different factions within his party to do well in the legislative and local elections which are fast approaching next year. .
In addition, the exploitation of hatred for the green camp may become less effective over time, and the affinity with China anchored in the blue camp will increasingly hamper the KMT’s chances of becoming a more “localized party”. »Centered on Taiwan.
These trends could make things increasingly difficult for Chu in the long run.
The urgency of uniting the party and balancing competing forces within means that upon returning to the post of party chairman, Chu cannot afford to lose in either of the next two. KMT-led votes 🙂 later this month, and referendums scheduled for December 18. A defeat in the latter would make it more difficult to control internal divisions within the party.
However, regardless of whether Chu exceeds expectations and unifies the party behind him, the unrest within the KMT has caused several party members to quit ship in their own political interests and join the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP). , adding to the ranks of the white camp. in the run-up to local elections next year.
It is also possible that Chu’s victory will spur increased cooperation between the blue and white camps by opposing the green camp.
For this reason, one could argue that the chairman of the TPP, the mayor of Taipei Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), is the biggest winner in the results of the election for the president of the KMT.
Hong Tsun-ming is the director of the Yilan County section of the Taiwan State Building Party.
Translated by Paul Cooper
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