By Ann Maxon / Staff reporter
The Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） Central Standing Committee yesterday passed new regulations for its presidential nomination process that would allow Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu （韓國瑜） to join the primary through a recommendation.
According to the regulations, a central nomination panel would be formed to consult party members interested in joining the primary, as well as those recommended for the party’s presidential nomination.
The panel members are to include KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan （曾永權）, former KMT vice chairman Hau Lung-bin （郝龍斌）, KMT Vice Secretary-General Tu Chien-teh （杜建德）, KMT Organizational Development Committee director Lee Che-hua （李哲華） and KMT Disciplinary Committee director Wei Ping-cheng （魏平政）.
Primary candidates would not be required to fill out a registration form, but must pay NT$5 million （US$160,720） by the end of the month to cover expenses for conducting surveys and organizing their televised platform presentation, the party said.
After the panel announces the official list of primary candidates on June 10, it would hold a meeting to explain primary regulations and details of the platform presentations to candidates by June 14, it said.
The presentations would be aired from June 23 to July 4 and also livestreamed on the KMT’s Facebook page, it added.
The party’s presidential nominee would be determined based on five landline surveys conducted between July 5 and July 15, with each consisting of at least 3,000 valid samples, the KMT said.
The surveys would ask respondents to choose between a KMT candidate and presidential hopefuls from other parties, as well as between KMT candidates on an 85-15 weighting, the party said.
The surveys’ results would be reviewed at the Central Standing Committee on July 17, before being submitted to the KMT’s national convention on July 28 for final confirmation, it said.
Any funds remaining from the NT$5 million fees would be returned to the candidates following the primary, it added.
Before the Central Standing Committee’s meeting yesterday, a group of Han’s supporters rallied outside KMT headquarters, urging the party to enlist Han in its primary.
“Han is the strongest candidate,” said KMT Central Committee member Vincent Hsu （徐正文）, who led the rally.
If the regulations allow the party to enlist Han, Hsu said that he and other supporters would raise money to help pay for Han’s registration.
Asked to comment on the new regulations, Han said that he is entirely devoted to running Kaohsiung at the moment, but added that he respects the party’s decision.
Asked if he would accept donations from his supporters, Han said that he would not.
“A man must take responsibility for himself,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou （郭台銘） urged the party to consider including cellphone surveys and holding debates for primary candidates during the nomination process.
“Cellphone surveys might not be as mature [as landline ones], but it does not mean that they should not be tried at all,” Gou said, adding that the KMT must not fall behind the Democratic Progressive Party, which is expected to include cellphone surveys.
In a statement issued after the meeting, KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng （王金平） said that he “cannot agree or accept the primary regulations, which are apparently designed for certain individuals.”
“Has there ever been a game or test in which people can participate without signing up? How is a party being fair when it allows individuals to join as long as they have others pay for them and an agreement is not even required?” he asked, urging the KMT to revise the regulations.
Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） Legislator Wang Jin-pyng addresses a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times