Wed, Jan 11, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Interior minister hesitant on Kaohsiung mayor bid

CNA , TAIPEI

Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday stopped short of saying that he would run for Kaohsiung mayor, but said that he was willing to run if the public feels that he's the most suitable candidate.

Su, a former legislator and Pingtung County commissioner, made the remarks during a year-end news conference before the Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 29 this year.

Asked if he will represent the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to run for Kaohsiung mayor, Su said that he has "not actively prepared for the election."

Several aspirants, including Legislator Huang Chao-hsun (黃眧順) and former Penghu County commissioner Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉), both members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), have announced their bids to run for mayor in the nation's second largest city.

"Regardless of who runs in the mayoral elections in Kaohsiung City and in Taipei City, both will be tough battles," he said.

In view of the DPP's humiliating defeat in last month's local elections, in which the DPP only managed to win six out of the 23 posts up for grabs, Su said the party cannot afford another loss in the Kaohsiung mayoral election. He added that winning the election is crucial to the party's development.

"Against this backdrop, it is necessary to choose a DPP candidate that will have the best possible chance of winning the election," he continued.

After the party chairmanship election on Jan. 15, the DPP can choose a candidate to run for Kaohsiung mayor, Su said, adding that "if the public feels that I'm the most suitable person, I'm willing to run. If they feel that others are better, I'm willing to throw my support behind that person."

On whether the DPP should hold a primary for the Kaohsiung mayoral election, Su said it would "create a wound among the aspirants" that would be hard to heal.

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