The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday drafted Minister Without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) as its candidate in the Greater Kaohsiung mayoral election, skipping the primary process in its bid for victory in the pan-green stronghold.
The 57-year-old Yang, a former member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), previously served as Kaohsiung county commissioner. He 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.
His selection was approved by the KMT’s Central Standing Committee yesterday.
“Yang has dedicated his efforts to the development of Greater Kaohsiung for years and was recognized as a ‘five-star’ local government head. We think he is an appropriate candidate,” KMT spokesperson Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said.
The KMT skipped the primary process in Greater Kaohsiung as it is one of the cities that the party defined as a tough electoral district in the seven-in-one elections to be held later this year.
Yang Chiu-hsing will face a tough battle against Chen, but the KMT will spare no effort to seek victory in Greater Kaohsiung, Yang Wei-chung said.
The committee also approved the nomination of Keelung Council Speaker Huang Ching-tai (黃景泰) as its candidate for the Keelung mayoral election and KMT Legislator Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) as its candidate in the Nantou County commissioner election.
Ma, in his capacity as KMT chairman, yesterday called for party unity ahead of the elections and promised to nominate the most talented candidates.
“The KMT and local branches will make every effort to complete the nomination process in accordance with the party’s plan and present talented candidates to represent the party in the elections,” Ma said yesterday when presiding over the committee meeting at KMT headquarters in Taipei.
The party has completed two rounds of nomination procedures and will finalize the final nominations in key campaigns, including Taipei, New Taipei City (新北市) and Greater Taichung, after the Lunar New Year holidays.