Former Department of Health minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) yesterday said he had no intention of throwing his hat into the ring for the legislative elections scheduled for the end of this year or early next year.
The former health chief told reporters by telephone that he “absolutely had not and will not consider running in the elections.”
Yaung, who resigned early this year after the legislature approved a reformed national health insurance program, is currently teaching at Asia University in Greater Taichung.
“Teaching suits me,” Yaung said, adding that the rumors about him running were started by a local newspaper, which said that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was inquiring about election aspirants with the intention of recruiting well-known and charismatic personalities who would be able to garner enough votes to give the party surprise victories in the more difficult constituencies.
The report said sources had confirmed that senior party officials had communicated with Yaung several times in an attempt to persuade him to run and had made some progress in this regard.
Before stepping down as health minister, Yaung said that while several legislators had expressed a hope that he would stump for them, he only promised to do so for one, who he described as very conscientious in his work.
Yaung said in the telephone interview that he had not changed his mind and that he would “at most, stump for the legislator.”
KMT lawmakers said they would like to see Yaung run and that his candidacy would help boost the party’s momentum.
KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said no one has come forward for some constituencies and that he had told Yaung privately that the public hoped he could “do more for the country.”
KMT Legislator George Hsieh (謝國樑) also said Yaung, who enjoyed a high popularity rating during his stint as health chief, would help boost the party and he expressed the hope that Yaung would run in central or southern Taiwan, home to some of the traditionally more difficult constituencies for the KMT.
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