The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said it welcomed an announcement from Vice Premier Eric Chu (朱立倫) that he plans to seek the party’s nomination in the year-end Sinbei City (新北市) mayoral race.
Chu, the KMT’s preferred candidate in the Sinbei race, revealed his intention to run in an interview with Chinese-language newspaper the Economic Daily News yesterday.
Chu said his reasons for declaring his candidacy were obvious, saying that he had never opposed the KMT’s plan to appoint him as the candidate in the Sinbei race.
“The party nomination process will be completed in May or June ... I couldn’t announce my bid too early because I am not in the opposition camp. I cannot make the announcement and ignore my duty to start planning an election campaign,” he said in the interview.
Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) of the KMT confirmed yesterday that Chu had talked to him about his intention to run and said he would campaign for Chu if the party felt that useful.
Chou only announced his withdrawal from the Sinbei City mayoral race last month, acknowledging his lack of popularity in polls compared with Chu.
Both the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) hope to win the first mayoral race for the city, which will have the largest population of any administrative district in the country. It is hoped victory in the election will provide much needed momentum in the run up to the 2012 presidential election.
KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said the party welcomed Chu’s declaration that he plans to seek the party nomination.
KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) spent the last few weeks in Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, holding talks with potential candidates. The first phase in those negotiations will be completed this week.
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