Want China Times
By: Wang Kun-yi and Staff Reporter
The reports circulating since last week that Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang is
moving to replace its presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu appear to be accurate. Hung’s previous determination to stay the distance seems to have folded and the KMT is expected to name its chair Eric Chu as its replacement nomination to boost its sagging campaign at a special party congress on Oct. 17.
It is doubtful whether the strategy will turn the party’s dire situation around before January’s presidential and legislative elections, however.
Since the KMT’s drubbing in the local elections last November, morale has been low and the party’s senior — for which read, male — figures showed themselves unwilling to step forward to run in what looked like a losing battle to retain the presidency. Hung, previously a fringe figure despite holding the deputy speakership of the legislature, was the almost the only person to put themself forward for the nomination and was officially selected as the KMT candidate in accordance with procedures, to the surprise of many.
As Hung would be running against Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, international media were quick to celebrate the prospect of two women contesting the presidential election, viewing it as a mark of progressiveness that Taiwan would be guaranteed to see its first female head of state inaugurated next year. But cynics viewing a perceived culture of male chauvinism within the KMT speculated that Hung’s nomination came in part because none of the party’s heavyweights were willing to face the likely possibility of losing the presidential race to a woman. [FULL STORY]