The Yilan County commissioner election has often been seen as an impossible mission for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). However, although admitting that it is a “hard battle,” the KMT candidate and incumbent Health Promotion Administration Director-General Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞) said that she would take on the challenge and not back down.
As the Democratic Progressive Party has been in power in Yilan for more than 20 years, Chiou said that she admires the late commissioner Chen Ting-nan’s (陳定南) clean politics and former premier Yu Shyi-kun’s (游錫堃) promotion of local culture.
However, Chiou criticized “wedding and funeral politics,” which help establish connections with voters, but lacks concrete performance, adding that Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) has no solution to farmland and traffic problems.
“Lin failed to follow Chen, who once said that ‘if I can’t be both liked and respected, I’d rather be respected,” Chiou said in a recent interview with the Liberty Times — the Taipei Times’ sister paper.
She said that Lin has chosen “to be liked” instead.
Chiou also rebutted the commonly believed rumor that she is affiliated with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) faction, saying that she worked with Ma for two years when she was director of the Taipei City Government’s Department of Health during Ma’s term as Taipei mayor.
She also worked as a volunteer in Ma’s campaign headquarters when the latter ran for president for the first time in 2008.
Questioned if she would ask Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, to promote her in the campaign, Chiou said she would “see how things develop.”
As for the question on whether she would resign from her current position to show her determination in running for the Yilan county commissioner post, Chiou said she would not rule out any possibility at the moment.
Asked if she had any new plans for the Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival, Chiou said she would add more cultural elements into it, turn it into an international event, build a park dedicated to the event and develop an industry around the event.
Chiou added that she would do it better if elected.
Speaking on her vision for Yilan, Chiou said she would preserve the good environment of Yilan while developing the economy.
She hopes to use her international connections to boost the number of overseas tourists and develop international tourism in the county.
Chiou added that she would promote health-related tourism as Taiwan has become an aging society, hoping to create more job opportunities so that Yilan residents can stay in the county.