Tue, Dec 09, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Jason Hu denies plan to run for Taipei County

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) yesterday rebutted media reports that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had selected him to run next year for Taipei County commissioner, adding that if he were to run for a post, it would be in Taichung City.

Hu made the comments during a visit to Taichung City Council Vice Speaker Chang Hung-nien (張宏年).

The rebuttal came after a report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily that said Hu had been chosen to run for the post because Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei’s (周錫瑋) public support rate had slipped.

Chang told reporters he did not think Hu would accept such an arrangement, since he lives in Taichung and has not finished his work there.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taichung City Councilor Ho Min-cheng (何敏誠) said the assignment would be a step down and an insult, as Hu was to be a candidate for premier.

Ho said that if Hu served a post in the north, it should be a position that would benefit Taichung.

Hu came under fire when both pan-blue and pan-green councilors asked him about the report, in which he was quoted as saying that if he ran for head of a municipality, he would “rather run for Kaohsiung City because it would be more meaningful than Taipei County.”

Hu denied having made the comment, saying Taichung was his only choice and that running in Taipei County would hurt his reputation.

When approached for comment, Chou said that everyone had the right to run for the post, but that Taipei County residents had to receive fair treatment from the central government.

In response to media reports that Chou has repeatedly ranked lowest in support rate polls conducted by the KMT and that the party wants Hu to run for Taipei County commissioner, Chou said “some people in the party like to play these kinds of tricks. If they like that, then let them play away.”

Chou reiterated his promise to resign and not run for re-election should he fail to see the county elevated to the status of a special municipality or fail to get the funding needed for the county from the central government.

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