Wed, Dec 26, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Eric Chu hints at 2020 run

CAMPAIGN PRELUDE:The former New Taipei City mayor said that he plans to travel across the nation to learn more about the public and seek solutions to problems

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, left, and his wife, Kao Wan-chien, wave to the crowd as they leave New Taipei City Hall in Banciao District yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Vowing to “fight for Taiwan in 2020,” former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday set off speculation about his plans to run for president in 2020.

Chu made the remarks on the sidelines of a ceremony at New Taipei City Hall to hand over the official seal of office to his successor, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Hou You-yi (侯友宜), who defeated his main rival, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), by a landslide of 291,438 votes, or 14.3 percent of the total votes cast, in the Nov. 24 local elections.

“My goal is clear, which is to fight for Taiwan in 2020,” Chu told reporters, when asked about his next step after serving two terms as mayor.

Chu said that the first thing he wanted to do after becoming a civilian is spend time with his family, after which he is to travel to every corner of the nation to listen to the public, learn from them, uncover problems and find some answers.

He said he also hoped to travel overseas, because “Taiwan must connect with the world and compete with the world.”

Asked when he plans to set up a campaign office, Chu said he would not fixate on having something called a “campaign office,” but that he would have a work office and that it is being planned.

In 2016, Chu, the KMT chairman at the time, represented the party in competing for the presidency against the DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), after he managed to push the KMT’s democratically chosen candidate, Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), out of the race just three months before the election.

He stepped down as party leader on Jan. 16 that year after losing the election to Tsai by more than 3 million votes, or about 25 percent of the total votes.

With the KMT’s victory in last month’s elections, in which the party won 15 of the nation’s 22 cities and counties, speculation is rife that many senior KMT members are interested in joining the party’s presidential primary, including KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) yesterday said that KMT headquarters respects the decision of any qualified party member to express their intent to vie for the party’s presidential nomination.

The nomination process would be carried out according to the party’s regulations, Hung Meng-kai said.

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