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June 29, 2017

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6 Kuomintang chairman candidates confirmed

By Stephanie Chao -- The candidate ballot sheet numbers in the Kuomintang (KMT) chairperson election were finalized Friday, as the six applicants became eligible candidates after it was confirmed that they had all acquired enough valid signatures from party members.

The candidates are incumbent KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), Vice KMT Chairman and former Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), former Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), former Vice Chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢), former Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co. President Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and former Legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛).

Candidates were required to submit more than 13,322 signatures — 3 percent of eligible KMT members.

Wu Den-yih on Top

Chinese-language United Daily News published an article with leaked data on the valid signatures each candidate had acquired as of 10 p.m. Thursday.

The average valid signature rate was only 25 percent. Han acquired the highest valid percentage rate at 34.93 percent; Wu Den-yih received the highest number of valid signatures at 67,520 out of 221,891.

Chan got a 28.08 percentage rate with 29,306 valid signatures out of 104,359. Hau had 108,233 signatures and received a 24.41 percent validity rate with 26,418 valid signatures.

Hung submitted a total of 128,888 signatures, but received a low validity rate of 19.3 percent with 24,878 valid signatures. Pan received the lowest at 18.19 percent, with only 18,347 valid signatures out of 100,870.

The six candidates submitted a total of 721,582 signatures, higher than the number of validated party members at 478,000, suggesting the significant duplication of signatures.

'Interpersonal pressure'

A party official, who remained anonymous, told media that signatures being used multiples times was likely the result of interpersonal pressure. The member said the rationale behind incumbent chairwoman Hung's low validity rate was probably due to Pan and Hau's cannibalization of her voting base, the Huangfushing military veterans.

Furthermore, those close to party central administrative work likely defected to other camps after losing their jobs in the KMT's recent layoffs, the member suggested.

Hung campaign spokesman Wu Yu-ren (吳育仁) condemned the information leak and called for a neutral election free from the influence of external factors.

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