Wed, Jul 30, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Ex-KMT member pulls out of Chiayi City race

Staff writer, with CNA

A former member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said she was dropping out of the mayoral race in Chiayi City, increasing the likelihood that the ruling party will keep its only foothold in the south of the nation.

Independent candidate Hsiao Shu-li (蕭淑麗), head of the Chiayi City Farmers’ Association, denied speculation that she had been pressured into the move by KMT officials, saying she decided to withdraw because she was not ready.

Her withdrawal means the mayoral race in the city of 271,000 will be a contest between former National Youth Commission minister Chen Yi-chen (陳以真) of the KMT and former minister of health Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Cities and counties south of the Jhuoshuei River (濁水溪), the nation’s longest river, are the traditional support base of the DPP, but Chiayi City has had a KMT mayor since 2005.

While Hsiao’s exit increases the KMT’s chances in the city, she has said she will not campaign for either candidate.

Chen said she was surprised by Hsiao’s decision.

She said that because she and Hsiao shared many ideas and visions for urban development, she would solicit Hsiao’s advice on such matters.

Twu, on the other hand, said he was not surprised by Hsiao’s move, though he said it came earlier than he expected.

KMT headquarters said it respects Hsiao’s decision.

The chairman of the KMT’s Chiayi City branch, Tsai Ming-hsien (蔡明顯), said that Hsiao’s withdrawal would help the party bring together “pan-blue” supporters and would have a positive effect on Chen’s chances of winning.

The nine-in-one elections are scheduled for Nov. 29.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top