Thu, Apr 27, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Dictator's grandson drops out of Taipei mayoral race

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang, center, is accompanied by his wife Helen Huang, left, and daughter Hui-yun, at a press conference yesterday where he announced his withdrawal from the party's Taipei mayoral primary.


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) yesterday announced he had pulled out of the year-end Taipei mayoral election, saying that his withdrawal was for the sake of party solidarity.

"Internal disputes, open strife and veiled struggles have occurred since the primary campaign began. Even some people's family members have been forced to take sides and been grouped into factions," he told a press conference, refusing to elaborate.

He said that the situation had caused serious damage to the party, noting that reducing the competition among candidates would be good for the party.

With Chiang's withdrawal, next month's primary will now be contested between former Taipei deputy mayor Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川), former Environmental Protection Administration chief Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中).

Media reports ahead of the press conference speculated that Chiang made the decision after complaining the primary was not fair because KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had allowed Yeh to use city resources for his campaign.

But Chiang denied the reports, saying that he had a cheerful conversation with Ma about his withdrawal on Tuesday and that Ma supported his decision.

Upon learning of Chiang's decision, Yeh went to Chiang's office to express his concern, but was unable to meet with him.

When asked by reporters, Yeh said he hadn't used city resources to boost his campaign.

"I had already resigned as the deputy mayor," he said.

Meanwhile, Ma said that Chiang told him the reason he was dropping out of the primary was because he had consistently placed second or third in opinion polls.

"As chairman of the party, I have to be impartial. I respect the decisions of the candidates and therefore I didn't encourage Chiang to persist with his campaign," Ma said.

Ma also denied speculation that he had secretly helped Yeh.

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