New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday dismissed rumors that he might represent the party in next year’s Taipei mayoral election, saying that it is too early to discuss the election.
Chu, a potential candidate in the 2016 presidential elections, remained tight-lipped about his re-election bid in New Taipei City and insisted that city development was his priority.
“Discussions on the nomination for the mayoral and county commissioner elections usually begin in May. It is unfortunate that people are discussing the elections already. This is harmful for the nation’s political stabilization,” he said.
KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) denied reports that the party planned to nominate Chu in the Taipei mayoral race instead of former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) as a way to curb the political strength of his father, former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), a former KMT chairman.
There are many talented members seeking nomination in the Taipei mayoral election, and the party will determine the candidate by negotiation or a primary, Yang said.
Sean Lien is seen as the most popular contender in the pan-blue camp to represent the KMT in the Taipei race.
He has refrained from confirming his bid and has said there are issues to consider.
The Taipei mayoral election is considered a bellwether for the 2016 presidential elections and the mayorship has been viewed as a stepping stone for the presidency.
It is believed that the younger Lien will announce his decision before the KMT holds a primary for the Taipei race, which is likely to be in February or March before the final round of nominations for the seven-in-one elections.
Several KMT members, including legislators Alex Tsai (蔡正元) and Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), and Taipei City Councilor Yang Shih-chiu (楊實秋), have expressed an interest in representing the party in the mayoral election.