Wed, Jun 25, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh chosen to run in Hualien County

THE WINNER?The former KMT secretary-general got the nod from the pan-blue alliance, but other hopefuls may yet challenge him for the commissioner's post

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Cabinet secretary-general Hsieh Shen-shan shows his determination to win the Hualien County Commissioner election after being nominated by the KMT-PFP alliance.

PHOTO: YU TAI-LANG, TAIPEI TIMES

The KMT-PFP alliance yesterday announced that it would nominate former Cabinet secretary-general Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山) as its representative in the Hualien County commissioner election in August.

Saying that it was a hard decision to make, given the large talent pool in the alliance, KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) said the alliance decided to nominate Hsieh in the end because of his good image.

"Aside from possessing rich experience in administration and coming out in the lead in polls conducted by the KMT, Hsieh was nominated because of his clean image, good reputation and his chances to score the electoral win" said Lin at a press conference held with his PFP counterpart Tsai Chung-hsiung (蔡鐘雄) following the KMT-PFP alliance meeting.

The decision to nominate Hsieh was decided during the alliance meeting by KMT Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜).

Originally the announcement was to be made by both Lien and Soong. Media speculated that, in order to avoid provoking fellow party members who had failed to secure their party's nomination, both Lien and Soong decided at the last minute to shift the responsibility to the party secretary-general instead.

The Hualien County commissioner by-election will be held on Aug. 2 to fill the post left vacant by the KMT's Chang fu-hsiung (張福興), who died of lung cancer last month.

Chang, who started his four-year tenure in December 2001, had 31 more months left in his term.

Lin added that, in the event that Hsieh wins the by-election, Hsieh would serve only the time remaining in Chang's term.

The KMT and the PFP had to iron out their differences in order to reach consensus in nominating Hsieh -- a senior KMT official -- as the alliance's representative in the by-election.

Still another task lies ahead for the KMT to see how successful it can be in dissuading fellow party members from running their independent campaigns.

Noting that there are other pan-blue members who have expressed strong interest in being a candidate, Lin said numerous KMT and PFP party officials would together make a visit to Hualien today to dissuade those other hopefuls from running in the by-election.

That group includes former KMT Hualien County commissioner Wu Kuo-tung (吳國棟) and Liu Chao-eh (劉詔娥), widow of the late commissioner Chang. PFP Legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) has also expressed a desire to run

"We strongly hope that fellow party comrades would come to place the interests of the alliance ahead of their personal ones," Lin said.

Despite Lin's call, Wu expressed his determination to run -- even though he had failed to secure the party's nomination.

"There's no turning back, I am determined to run," Wu said.

As of press time, neither Liu nor Fu could be reach for comment.

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