Tue, May 02, 2006 - Page 3 News List

PFP's Soong hints at a mayoral run

NO COMMITMENT The two-time presidential loser may be setting his eyes on a prize that might be more easily obtainable

By Jewel Huang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Although he remained silent on whether he will run in the Taipei mayoral race, People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday made it clear he was interested in the campaign.

"I have finished the first stage of my homework to prepare for the election -- visiting all the chiefs of the city's 449 boroughs. If I am able to find solutions to their problems before the next stage, I will come forward and do the right thing," Soong said.

Soong made the comments about Taipei's development at a press conference after Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) visited him to discuss some long-stalled bills in the legislature and other issues.

Speaking after Soong, Wang said that Soong had done a great job during his term as Taiwan provincial governor and that his experience would be a great asset to Taipei.

"If Soong decides to join the fray and wins, it will benefit Taipei," Wang said.

However, Wang said he wasn't saying this to help Soong solicit votes, which would contravene his party's position.

"I am in the PFP's office today. I therefore have to make some thoughts and response to Soong's vision for the city," Wang said.

Meanwhile, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has once again refused to run as his party's candidate in the Taipei mayoral election later this year.

After meeting President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Sunday to discuss the issue, Hsieh met Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday about the same thing.

Hsieh said he still had no intention of running for the Taipei mayorship.

As soon as he returned from the US last Saturday, Hsieh met with Chen, who reportedly tried to persuade him to run for Taipei mayor. Hsieh reportedly refused.

To convince Hsieh to change his mind, Yu met him at DPP headquarters yesterday.

After the meeting, Yu said he told Hsieh that the DPP wanted him to run in the election.

"But Hsieh still said that he has no intention of joining the election," Yu said.

In related developments, former Council of Labor Affairs chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊) registered yesterday for the DPP's primary for the Kaohsiung mayoral election.

When asked about Hsieh's refusal to run in Taipei's mayoral election, Chen Chu said she was confident in Hsieh because he was wise and knew what kind of role he should play in the DPP.

"I believe that Hsieh clearly knows how to help the DPP get through the crisis that it faces now," Chen Chu said.

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