Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) does not intend nor plan to run as the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KIMT) candidate in the 2016 presidential election, Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said yesterday.
Sun made the remark in response to reporters’ questions about a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) yesterday that said Jiang was President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) handpicked KMT candidate for the 2016 race.
“There is no such thing,” Sun said, adding that Jiang has chosen to apply himself whole-heartedly to the task of being a premier.
The Liberty Times said that Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, considers Jiang as the party’s best choice over potential contenders Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), and Taipei Mayor Hau Ling-bin (郝龍斌).
Aside from Wu’s continuing low public support rate, Ma preferred Jiang over other possible aspirants because of how he had acted during a recent high-profile internal party struggle, the Liberty Times said.
Jiang became more favorable to Ma than Wu because the premier firmly backed the president in his accusations in September last year that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) had used undue influence in a legal case, while Wu advised Ma not to be too harsh on Wang, the Liberty Tines report quoted anonymous sources as saying.