Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday denied speculation that he would enter the Taipei mayoral election, as DPP members voted in the first part of primaries to choose candidates for the Taipei and Kaohsiung city elections.
Yesterday's vote was to select both mayoral and city councilor candidates, as well as local-level party delegates.
In Kaohsiung, given that DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) had announced she would withdraw from the primary last Thursday, the only remaining candidate, former head of the Council of Labor Affairs Chen Chu (陳菊), won a landslide victory. Chen obtained 16,765 votes, or 79.24 percent of total votes, while Kuan, whose name was still printed on the ballot, gained 4,392 votes, or 20.76 percent of the votes.
Voter turnout for Kaohsiung was 49.34 percent.
The members' vote will count for 30 percent of the weighting under the party's primary mechanism. A telephone poll, which will be conducted early next month, will make up the remaining 70 percent.
In Taipei, the DPP was left without a candidate because no one registered for the primary.
After former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said last Wednesday that he had no intention of joining the Taipei mayoral election race and that the DPP should not wait for him, some speculated that Yu planned to run for the position.
But Yu yesterday said he would not contest the election.
"No one has talked about it [a run for the Taipei mayorship] with me and I have never had this kind of plan, either," Yu said in Ilan County, where he voted in the primaries.
"Now that I am the chairman of the DPP, a position that takes on huge responsibility, I will not escape from it," he said.
"Besides, I have to take care of the elections both in Taipei and Kaohsiung and I will not just pay attention to the Taipei election," Yu added.
Talks with Hsieh
Yu said he still expected Hsieh to become the party's Taipei candidate and had been negotiating with him.
"If Hsieh eventually refuses to take the field, the DPP will enlist another candidate through the party's mechanism."
Meanwhile, when asked his opinion about Yu running for Taipei mayor, Premier Su Tseng-chang (