Fri, Feb 07, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Sean Lien still coy about election bid

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) has still not declared whether he would run in the Taipei mayoral election, but will announce his decision by the end of the month, an aide said.

Speculation about Lien’s election bid emerged last year as other potential candidates from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) revealed their intention to join the election campaign.

In an interview with the United Daily News published yesterday, Lien said his answer to the question of whether he would join the race could change from “maybe” to “yes” amid continuous encouragement from supporters and friends.

Lien’s aide and close friend, KMT Central Standing Committee member Lee Te-wei (李德維), said yesterday that Lien has yet to confirm his bid for the election and that he would explain his decision to the public later this month.

“Mr Lien will make public his decision [on the election bid], whether his answer is yes or no,” Lee said.

Lien is the eldest son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰). As a member of the Lien family, Sean Lien commands popular support in the pan-blue camp, making him a viable contender in the year-end local election.

In the interview, Sean Lien discussed his ambition to strengthen Taipei’s development and raise the city’s international competitiveness, stressing his efforts to start a hedge fund business in Hong Kong to counteract criticism that he comes from a wealthy background.

He also dismissed allegations that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who has had “problematic” relations with Lien Chan, favors KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) for the post and plans to launch a smear campaign against Sean Lien, saying he never believes rumors.

The KMT and Ma, who doubles as party chairman, have dismissed allegations that the party would not be supportive of Sean Lien because of the rift between the president and Lien Chan.

Although Sean Lien has yet to decide whether to run, several polls have made him the favorite over his potential rivals in the pan-green camp, including lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄) of the DPP and physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), director of National Taiwan University Hospital’s department of traumatology.

Former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday expressed confidence about the party’s performance in the Taipei mayoral election, saying that the party could only lose the election if there was a split in the party.

“There is no reason for us to lose the mayoral election in Taipei, unless we fail to unite and continue to spread rumors about each other. As long as we can avoid making such mistakes, we shall win the election in Taipei,” Wu said yesterday when attending the KMT Taipei branch’s New Year gathering.

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