Taipei, April 21 (CNA) All six applicants to contest the chairmanship of the opposition Kuomintang scheduled for May 20 became official candidates on Friday, after they were confirmed to have submitted enough valid signatures from party members to take part in the race.
The six candidates are incumbent KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), Vice 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 Legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) and former Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co. President Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).
Eligible candidates are required to submit more than 13,322 signatures -- 3 percent of eligible KMT members.
After a review by the party election committee, all six hopefuls were confirmed as eligible to run in the chairmanship race.
Although the valid signatures submitted by each of the hopefuls were deemed to have met the 3 percent threshold, the party did not reveal the number of valid signatures for each candidate.
Candidates will participate in two televised debate, the first scheduled for April 29 and the second May 6.
The campaign will last two weeks from May 6-19, before party members elect a party chief on May 20 who will serve a term of four years, according to party officials.
Results are expected to be announced on the day of the election, they added.
Hung, who turned 69 earlier this month, took over as the party's first woman leader in March 2016 from Eric Chu, who was elected in 2013 but resigned to take responsibility for the KMT's defeat in both the presidential and the legislative elections in January last year.
According to the KMT charter, one candidate has to garner at least 50 percent of the votes to win the chairmanship; otherwise, the top two candidates engage in a run-off.
Given the number of candidates, it is expected that a second round vote will be needed before a winner can be declared.
(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Elaine Hou)