Three-term Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) on Friday said he would not seek re-election in next year’s legislative election — which is set to be held in tandem with the presidential election — adding new fuel to the ongoing speculation that KMT Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) will run for president.
Lin has been widely rumored to run for mayor of New Taipei City in a by-election if Chu decides to run for president, but he declined to comment on “hypothetical questions,” saying he made the decision mainly because he wanted to yield the opportunity to the younger generation.
“What I can only say now is that I am not running for re-election,” Lin told reporters. “The speculation was ungrounded because Chu has not declared his candidacy for president,” Lin said.
Lin is the third KMT lawmaker who has decided not to seek re-election after the party suffered unprecedented losses in the nine-in-one elections in November last year, joining four-term Alex Tsai (蔡正元) in Taipei’s Neihu (內湖) and Nangang (南港) districts iand three-term Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) in Keelung.
Prior to being elected to the legislature in 2004 in the sixth district of then-Taipei County’s Banciao (板橋), Lin started out as a politician when he ran in 1991 for representative of the now-defunct National Assembly before he was elected to mayor of Banciao City.
Lin was one of the KMT lawmakers previously targeted by activists of the Appendectomy Project — a recall campaign — for his role in assisting President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration in forcing contentious bills through the legislature when he served as head of the party’s policy committee.
He resigned from the position after the nine-in-one elections.