KMT candidates fear for party’s future
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-12 05:49 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taipei City mayoral candidates for the Kuomintang expressed fears for the party’s future Saturday after the successful student occupation of the Legislative Yuan.

The KMT organized the fourth of a series of debates Saturday afternoon between its contenders for mayor of the capital. The candidates are lawmakers Ting Shou-chung and Alex Tsai, city councilor Chung Hsiao-ping and Central Committee member Sean Lien.

Lien, the son of KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan, said the student protests had caused many citizens to worry about the country’s future. Yet, he said he was more concerned about the KMT’s apparent loss of ability to attract younger people. If it could not win back youth and each student protester won ten votes, after ten years the KMT might turn into an eternal opposition party, Lien said.

Ting, his main rival, said the student occupation was influenced by the feeling that their wages had not risen and the division between rich and poor was growing. In addition, doubts about Taiwan’s relationship with China had also been shown clearly by the protests, Ting said.

Tsai took a harder line against the protests, mentioning that as a result he had been voted in a poll as the least popular legislator. During the week, a number of students and activists held a “walk-by” protest past his Neihu District office.

At a previous debate Saturday morning, Lien said that traditional politicians failed to show enough imagination about the future and could grow too far out of sync from ordinary people.

The rest of the debates were mostly devoted to local issues, especially to urban renewal, which has played a major part in the campaign.

The process for the selection of the KMT candidate for the mayoral election includes opinion polls scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

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