The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday decided against holding a primary in Greater Kaohsiung and said it would nominate Minister Without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) as its representative in the mayoral election to be held at the end of the year.
The KMT’s nomination review committee held a meeting yesterday and decided it would formally nominate Yang before the party’s Central Standing Committee meets on Wednesday to approve the nomination.
The meeting, presided over by KMT Vice Chairman Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正), also completed the review of the primary results in Keelung City and Nantou County. The committee said it would nominate Keelung City Council Speaker Huang Ching-tai (黃景泰) and KMT Legislator Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) to represent the party in the two electoral districts respectively.
The KMT’s Kaohsiung branch director Yen Yi-shih (嚴世一) said the party faces a tough battle in the mayoral poll, and Yang’s candidacy should demonstrate the party’s determination to win.
Yang, a former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member, lost in the last election in 2010 to Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊). Following his defeat, he campaigned for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election in 2012 and joined the KMT last year, with an eye to running for Greater Kaohsiung mayor again.
Ma met with Yang earlier this week and gave his support for Yang’s election bid.
The KMT also plans to skip primary procedures in Pingtung County and nominate Executive Yuan Deputy Secretary-General Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) as its representative in the race for county commissioner.
The KMT is facing a tough fight in the south, traditionally viewed as pan-green strongholds. The party said it would not complete its nomination process in the area until next month after the Lunar New Year holiday.