Mon, Feb 06, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taipei hopeful asks rival to quit

STEP DOWN A KMT legislator called on the city's deputy mayor to resign to avoid any potential conflict over misuse of city resources during the party's mayoral primary

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元), one of the party's hopefuls for the Taipei City mayoral election in December, yesterday urged one of his major rivals for the position, Taipei Deputy Mayor Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川), to resign in order to avoid any suspicion that he may use the city government's resources when campaigning in the party's primary.

As the number of the candidates for the Taipei City mayoral election increases, competitors within the pan-blue camp have been busy promoting themselves since the Lunar New Year holiday, and upping attacks on their rivals.

So far, there are at least six candidates who have revealed their intention to run for the city's top job, including People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), former Environmental Protection Administration chief Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), KMT legislators John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), Tsai and Deputy Mayor Yeh.

Tsai, who is also the deputy director of the KMT's policy development committee, said yesterday that Yeh should resign as the city's deputy mayor as soon as he establishes his mayoral campaign office in the interest of fair play.

"Otherwise it would be unfair to the other candidates involved in the KMT's primary since Yeh is capable of making use of administrative resources -- tangible or intangible -- for promoting himself," Tsai said yesterday while seeking support from the public in a Taipei City market.

Tsai said that he has learned that Yeh may use his influence within the Taipei City Government to win the KMT's primary for the Taipei mayoral election and it is likely that Yeh will ask borough chiefs, districts chiefs and local people to support him or demand the city government work to canvass on his behalf.

"We believe it would be quite inappropriate and could possibly damage the KMT's public image and harm Taiwan's democratic reform," Tsai added.

Reacting to Tsai's accusations, Yeh said yesterday that he has been open in keeping his public and private interests separate and he was confident that he had made clear distinctions between his municipal activities and electioneering schedule.

"I will not consider quitting as deputy mayor. I'm confident in myself and have absolutely nothing to hide," Yeh said.

"If I take advantage of city government's resources in any way during the party primary, I believe that that city residents will spurn me anyway," he added.

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