Taiwan's KMT nominates Hung Hsiu-chu for Taiwan leadership bid

Taiwan's KMT nominates Hung Hsiu-chu for Taiwan leadership bid
PHOTO: Reuters

TAIPEI - Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang party endorsed the candidacy of Hung Hsiu-chu on Sunday in the Taiwan leadership election next January.

The party's representatives gathered at the party's congress in Taipei on Sunday and approved Hung's nomination with applause.

Hung, 67, is set to face Tsai Ing-wen, 58, chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, who was nominated in April for the 2016 election.

This is the first time two female candidates will compete for the top leadership of Taiwan.

Addressing the congress, Hung said that if she is elected, she will promote the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Straits on the basis of the 1992 consensus, enabling all people in Taiwan to enjoy the dividends of peaceful development, and create a sustainable, stable and peaceful environment for both sides.

Only if the Kuomintang party wins "can the values of peace and openness be assured in the future", Hung said.

Hung, deputy head of the island's legislature and the only contender in the party primary, secured the party's 30 per cent support threshold in public polls in June with an average rating of 46.2 per cent.

Hung has been dubbed a "little chili pepper" for her biting, humorous style of grilling government officials in parliament, according to The Associated Press.

Women manage 10 government departments and some of Taiwan's top companies. One-third of Taiwan legislators are female, said Sean King, senior vice-president of Park Strategies, a New York-based consultancy, the AP reported.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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