Tue, May 30, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ting Shou-chung concedes defeat in KMT mayoral bid


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) announced yesterday that he was conceding defeat in his bid to be the party's candidate in the year-end mayoral election in Taipei.

However, Ting added that he doubted the fairness of the KMT's formula for selecting its candidate for an election. Public opinion polls count for 70 percent and primary results count for 30 percent in selecting the candidate.

Ting garnered over 5,000 more votes than his opponent -- former Environmental Protection Administration chief Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) -- in last Saturday's primary, but he lagged behind in opinion polls. Under the formula used by the KMT, Hau defeated Ting with a score of 59.683 to 40.317.

Ting said that the formula was ridiculous, as it gave greater importance to the opinion of non-KMT members than that of party members.

In the lead-up to the primary, Ting referred to Hau Lung-bin, the son of former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村), as a "political chameleon" for having left the KMT to join the now defunct New Party in the early 1990s, only to desert that party in 2001 to serve as EPA chief in President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that up until last year, the results of opinion polls and those of primaries were weighed equally in selecting the party's candidate.

He said that the party changed the formula out of concern that party members' opinions might be different from those of the public.

The door is always open for discussion, and changes to the formula are possible, he added.

Regarding signs that People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) intends to run for Taipei mayor, Ma said that the secretary-generals of the KMT and PFP have been engaged in talks on the matter to seek ways of cooperating in the run-up to the mayoral election.

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