Former premier Yu Shyi-kun won the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) primary for the New Taipei City (新北市) mayoral election next year after defeating former lawmaker Chuang Shuo-han (莊碩漢) in a public opinion poll, the party announced yesterday.
Yu, who served as premier from 2002 to 2005, is expected to be nominated as the DPP candidate in next month’s Central Executive Committee meeting, DPP Secretary-
General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) told a press conference.
In the survey conducted on Monday, which received 1,338 valid responses and pitted both candidates against incumbent New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), Yu won, as he lost to Chu by a “smaller deficit,” Lin said.
In accordance with an agreement the candidates made before the poll, the final figures were not made public.
“We believe that Yu came out on top because of his years of experience in local government, having served as Yilan County commissioner from 1989 to 1997,” Lin said.
Responding to the proposal of Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉), who expressed an interest in running in the election and had proposed holding a public poll on possible TSU and DPP mayoral candidates to determine who would be the best candidate for the pan-green camp, Lin said the party would talk to the TSU and work out a solution.
“The challenge has just begun,” Yu said after his primary victory, adding that he would try to win back the municipality, where the DPP governed for 16 years from 1989 to 2005.
“New Taipei City residents’ hope for a change and I have formed a vision of a better economic future,” he said. “I am determined to fight to the very end for the victory.”
Yu’s victory was easier than expected as his strongest rival, DPP New Taipei City chapter director Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), pulled out of the race on Nov. 19, citing an unfair polling mechanism.
However, Yu’s candidacy has not been received well by some DPP supporters who have expressed concern about Yu, 65, running in New Taipei City, and possibly former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), 69, running in Taipei.
Critics have said that the pair are too old and would fail to match voters’ expectations of a “generational shift.”