Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday he would not run for an elected seat in the next legislative elections, intensifying speculation over his next move.
“After listening to opinions expressed by many townspeople during the Lunar New Year holiday, I have come to the decision not to run for a legislative seat in my hometown late this year,” Wang told reporters before attending a legislative New Year’s gathering.
Wang is serving a second term as a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator-at-large, but because the party imposes a two-term limit on such lawmakers, he would have to win an elected seat or the KMT would have to change its rules for him to remain in the legislature.
Wang’s next career move has been closely watched since before the Lunar New Year holiday.
He said last month that he would not announce whether he would run for a legislative seat in Greater Kaohsiung until after consulting with his supporters there.
“Most of my grassroots supporters do not want me to throw my hat into the regional legislative race. That’s the conclusion,” Wang said.
As to his next move, Wang said he needed more time to figure it out.
Asked about a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday that said he had ruled out a run for the presidency next year, Wang said that was the reporter’s interpretation and he would not comment on it.
In 2005, Wang ran for the KMT chairmanship against then-Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in a hotly contested race. Ma won, but resigned from the post in 2007 after he was indicted on charges of misusing public funds. Ma was elected president in 2008, and elected KMT chairman again in 2009.