Sun, Jun 04, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Frank Hsieh said to be considering a run for Taipei mayor

CNA , TAIPEI

Former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has begun to think about throwing his hat into the ring for the year-end Taipei mayoral election, a lawmaker close to him said yesterday.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Shih-chien (王世堅) also said that he thought the chances of Hsieh's running are high.

Although the DPP has targeted Hsieh from the beginning as the party's ideal candidate for the Taipei election, Hsieh has repeatedly said that he has no intention of running. The DPP ended up in an embarrassing situation as no candidate came forward to register for the party primary last month.

Stance softened

Wang noted that when he called on Hsieh on Monday, Hsieh asked him about his views on joining the Taipei mayoral election and he felt that Hsieh's insistence that he would not run had softened.

Wang said Hsieh has a great attachment to the DPP, noting that he took part in the drafting of the party's name and platform when it was founded in 1986.

However, in view of the party's slipping approval rating following a spate of corruption allegations involving President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) close aides and son-in-law, running in the Taipei mayoral election would not be favorable for Hsieh, said Wang.

It would be positive for the DPP if the party could hang on to its seats in the city councilor elections, he added.

Whether elected or not, Hsieh would then probably be shut out of the 2008 presidential election, he said.

Morale boost

DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun echoed Wang's views, saying that Hsieh's participation would give the morale of the party a great boost, as Hsieh has a broad base of support among grassroots supporters.

Saying that Hsieh had often taken on the most daunting tasks for the party during its most difficult times, Yu expressed his admiration for him.

Yu also lauded Hsieh's "Kaohsiung experience," which he claimed could contribute a great deal to the development of Taipei.

He claimed Taipei's development had been "very limited" over the past eight years since President Chen lost his re-election bid as Taipei mayor in 1998, adding that if Hsieh could serve as Taipei mayor, he would not only save the floundering party but would also put the city "on a par with other metropolises."

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