Former premier Yu Shyi-kun of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the party’s candidate in the New Taipei City mayoral election, has found himself caught between a rock and a hard place — facing rumor-mongering within the party and not knowing who his election rival will be.
“I’d rather look to the future than dwell on the past... I believe that I will be the DPP’s official nominee ... and I have full confidence that I will win the election,” Yu told reporters yesterday before the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting in Taipei.
The veteran politician was responding to a widely reported proposal, co-endorsed by six DPP mayors and commissioners, including Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), which was initiated months before Yu was officially nominated.
There had been a rumor within the party that former DPP chairman Lin Yi-xiong (林義雄), a well-respected figure in the pan-green camp, was unhappy with the party’s imminent nomination of Yu, and his discontent prompted the proposal, which recommends that the DPP postpone its nomination in New Taipei City.
The proposal was held back by DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).
In an interview with Newtalk, an online news Web site, Lin denied he was unhappy with Yu and wanted a new nomination, saying that he had never contacted anyone to overturn the nomination.
Responding to the issue yesterday, Chen said the six local leaders did express their “concerns” to Su and hoped that the party could nominate candidates for Taipei and New Taipei City at the same time to generate stronger momentum ahead of the year-end seven-in-one elections.
However, the idea “was never personal and was not targeted at Yu,” Chen said.
Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) on Tuesday said that he agreed with the proposal, but the initiative was not an attempt to undermine Yu’s candidacy.
There was also rumor that if Su lost his re-election bid for chairman in May, the he would seek to replace Yu in the New Taipei City mayoral election to prolong his political career.
However, Su said to reporters after the CEC meeting that “Yu is the DPP’s official candidate in New Taipei City. The only task for us to do is to win the election.”
The other dilemma for Yu is that he did not know who his rival would be in the election as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has yet to announce its nomination.
Yu’s rival could be incumbent Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), but Chu has not confirmed a bid and could choose to run for president in 2016.
If that were to be the case, Yu’s rival could be Taipei Deputy Mayor Hou Yu-yi (侯友宜).
Yu said he has been campaigning hard throughout the constituency and has not given much thought to the eventual KMT candidate.
However, he acknowledged that Chu would be the strongest opponent and he was campaigning as if Chu has been nominated.