In the post-Sunflower context, it was downright foolish of the KMT to think that it could pick a running mate who had abused some of society’s most vulnerable elements and get away with it
After the disaster that was Hung Hsiu-chu, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) initial pick for presidential candidate, it was expected that Taiwan’s ruling party—a political survivor if ever there was one—would somehow get back on an even keel. With Eric Chu replacing the unpopular Hung in October, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that the KMT would narrow the immense gap that had developed between it and frontrunner Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). And then the KMT blundered again, this time by picking a vice presidential candidate whose checkered past has succeeded in alienating pretty much every segment of society, including traditional KMT voters.
At first glance, the decision to make Jennifer Wang Chu’s running mate looked like a wise move. A former human rights lawyer, Wang could have helped repair the KMT’s image after a bruising three years, during which Taiwan’s media and civil society exposed a series of human rights violations stemming from urban renewal projects to deaths in the military.
My article, published on Dec. 9 on the China Policy Institute Blog at University of Nottingham, continues here.