Sat, Jan 14, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Legislator seeks to extend Chiang dynasty


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) declared his intention to run for Taipei mayor during a visit to the mausoleum of his father, late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), yesterday.

While visiting the former president's mausoleum in Touliao (頭寮), Taoyuan County yesterday to pay his respects on the 18th anniversary of the late president's death, the lawmaker told his father about his plans to enter the Taipei mayoral race and said he was motivated by a desire to follow his legacy of diligence and compassion to the people.

"As a former foreign minister and a lawmaker who is dedicated to cross-strait issues, I have decided to run in the race, and listen to the voice of the people," he said, adding that he will make a formal announcement after the Lunar New Year.

Asked to comment on his potential rival in the election, People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), Chiang praised Soong as an outstanding talent and stressed that he will strive to gain the KMT's nomination by winning the primaries.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Soong also paid their respects to the late president yesterday.

While a tearful Ma, who served as Chiang Ching-kuo's English translator, pledged to carry out the late Chiang's wish to be a politician with integrity, Soong called himself a follower of Chiang Ching-kuo, who Soong said was a tireless servant of the people in Taiwan during his term as the governor of Taiwan Province.

Soong declined to comment on John Chiang's announcement.

Faced with the difficulty of finding the perfect candidate for the KMT and even a possible pan-blue split, should Soong decided to run for Taipei mayor, Ma said yesterday that pan-blue integration is crucial if the camp is to win the race over the pan-greens. He declined to comment on Soong's possible candidacy.

"We've learned from many previous elections that pan-blue integration is key if we want to win ? But I do not want to make any comment on candidates representing other parties," he said yesterday during a gathering with the press at the city hall.

Saying that his party will choose a final candidate through primaries, Ma said it would be "improper" for him to persuade the former deputy mayor Ou Chin-der (歐晉德) to change his mind.

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