Tue, Jul 01, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Widow looks to assume late husband's post

HUALIEN BY-ELECTION The DPP says it will give its full support to Liu Chao-eh's bid to become county commissioner, although Liu will be running as an independent

STAFF WRITER

Liu Chao-eh (劉詔娥) announced yesterday that she would run in the upcoming Hualien County commissioner by-election as an independent candidate, seeking to succeed her late husband, Chang Fu-hsiung (張福興).

She is running for the post with the DPP's full support, the local media reported yesterday.

According to DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chin-yung (李進勇), President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is scheduled to officially offer the party's support to Liu after a party meeting today.

"The DPP wants to express its admiration for Liu's decision," Lee said at a press conference yesterday.

"It is indeed admirable that she insists on accomplishing her husband's dying wish for the sake of the people of Hualien," he said.

Chang, a member of the KMT, died on May 18 of lung cancer at the age of 61. He had been diagnosed last year and began chemotherapy in March.

According to the Law on Local Government Systems (地方制度法), a by-election must be held within three months of the death of an elected local official if his or her remaining term is more than two years.

Chang's four-year term began in December 2001.

Lee said Chen and Premier Yu Shyi-kun had repeatedly visited Liu after her husband died and had also promised that the central government would continue to boost the county's development.

In response to reporters' questions on whether the DPP should have nominated its own candidate, Lee said the party's only concern was for Hualien County's interests.

"We support the candidate who can take care of the people of Hualien the best," Lee said, adding that the party's decision will further promote its image.

Both the blue and the green camps are competing for the post.

Last Tuesday, the KMT-PFP alliance nominated former Cabinet secretary-general Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山), who is also a former chairman of the Council of Labor Affairs, as its candidate.

After failing to secure the alliance's nomination, both Liu and former Hualien County commissioner Wu Kuo-tung (吳國棟) said they would still run.

Accompanied by her husband's supporters as she officially registered as a candidate yesterday morning, Liu said that any party's support would be welcomed.

In response to the rumor that she will support Chen's re-election bid in exchange for the DPP's help with her campaign, Liu said that it was too early to talk about next year's election.

Registration of candidates for the by-election began Sunday. Green Party activist Chi Shu-ing (齊淑英) showed up, but failed to complete the registration procedure because she failed to present a deposit and lacked necessary documents to prove her qualifications.

According to the latest opinion poll, published in a Chinese-language newspaper, 36 percent of voters in Hualien support Hsieh. About 22 percent of respondents supported Wu, 7 percent backed Liu and 2 percent supported Chi.

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