Former National Security Council (NSC) deputy secretary-general Philip Yang (楊永明) yesterday said he was withdrawing from the Keelung mayoral election due to political strife, promising to focus his efforts to promote unity in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) before making any further political move.
Yang, who resigned his post in July and announced his bid for mayor, expressed concern about the political strife between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and its impact on the nation, adding that he would mull party unity and the nation’s overall development.
“I resigned in July to devote my efforts to local development in Keelung and my withdrawal from the race now is a painful decision because I am worried about the situation in the nation,” he said.
As a KMT member, promoting party unity and stabilizing the political situation are issues that should be addressed immediately, he said, adding that he would use his expertise to make an effort to raise the nation’s competitiveness.
Yang, a political science professor at National Taiwan University, served as Executive Yuan spokesman before taking over as NSC deputy secretary-general.
His announcement to withdraw from the Keelung election came in the wake of the announcement that former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) would not run.
Lo resigned from his post last month amid speculation that he was preparing an election bid. As a Keelung native, Lo is reportedly Ma’s preferred candidate to represent the KMT in the race.
It is believed that Lo’s resignation was a political move that allowed him to defend Ma’s policies more freely, as he has been doing on his Facebook page since his resignation. He has also continued to discuss local development issues in Keelung, despite the announcement that he would not run in the election.