The office of former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday denied media reports that she was interested in running in the Taipei mayoral election next year as a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate.
The Chinese-language United Evening News reported yesterday that a leaflet which listed Lu’s three advantages as the DPP’s mayoral candidate has been circulating among local supporters.
The report also quoted anonymous sources as saying that Lu is scheduled to officially announce her bid on Sept. 6.
Su Yen-fei (蘇妍妃), director of Lu’s office, said the office had no information about Lu’s intention and had never heard of the leaflet.
Asked about her possible candidacy in the election last week, the former vice president said the nomination was “not an issue that she could unilaterally decide.”
DPP members who have expressed interest in entering the Taipei mayoral race included Taipei City Council Deputy Speaker Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) and DPP Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), but both are not considered as strong as National Taiwan University physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who enjoys solid support despite not being a DPP member.
Ko has floated the idea of entering the race, but has yet to announce his decision publicly.
According to the DPP’s regulations on the seven-in-one elections, the DPP headquarters will conduct negotiations in those constituencies with two or more aspirants if private negotiations between them fail.
The party would have to decide if a non-member like Ko will be allowed run in the party primary.
Separately, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said more hopefuls joining the Taipei mayoral election should be seen as a positive development for the city.
Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) and Taipei City Councilor Yang Shih-chiu (楊實秋), both of the KMT, have expressed their intentions to run in the election.
Former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) remained tight-lipped about his alleged bid, but is seen as the most likely candidate to represent the KMT in the election.
His real challenge for the party nomination will likely come from Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), who is viewed as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) preferred candidate in the race.
Hau, who will complete his final term next year, said the KMT should determine its candidate through the primary mechanism.
“The KMT has a primary mechanism to determine the candidate in a democratic way, and I think we will find a candidate all party members can support,” he said yesterday when asked to comment on the election.
The mayoral races in Taipei and the four other special municipalities are part of the so-called seven-in-one elections to be held in December next year.
In addition to the mayoral race, elections will also be held to choose council members, county commissioners, county council members, township mayors and other local public officials.
Taipei has traditionally been a KMT stronghold, and the mayoral election is a must-win battle for the party, as it is seeking to determine its candidate via negotiation.