Sat, Apr 18, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Chu says he will not run for president

FOR THE LAST TIME, NO:Chu made his most explicit denial yet that he would run. However, he did not manage to convince Legislative Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu

By Lai Hsiao-tung  /  Staff reporter

New Taipei City Mayor and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday unequivocally said that he will not run for president next year.

“I won’t take part in the 2016 [presidential election], all right?” Chu said when a reporter asked him if he would deliver on the promise he has repeatedly made to complete his mayoral tenure.

Chu was again peppered with questions yesterday from reporters about whether he intended to run for president after KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) on Thursday said that Chu is “giving serious thought to running.”

Hau said Chu is duty-bound to represent the KMT in the election because he is the party chairman and the candidate with the best chance of winning.

“I have told him that he has to be mentally prepared to run,” Hau said during a radio interview.

Asked about Hau’s remarks, Chu said: “There is no such [duty].”

“I have been consistent in my stance on this — I will do a good job as mayor and complete my term. As the party’s chairman, I am like an arbitrator or a coach. I hope to see more talented people participate in the party’s primaries for both the legislative and presidential elections,” Chu said.

A reporter then asked his views on speculation that his recent decision to give up legal battles over 10 of the party’s assets, the ownership of which were disputed, was a move to smooth the difficulties he would face when running for president, Chu said the party has stuck to the path of reform.

Chu then said he would not run for president next year when a reporter pressed him on whether he would keep his promise to serve out his term as mayor.

At a separate setting, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson — and presidential candidate — Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) declined to comment on Chu’s remarks that he would not compete in the election.

Tsai said she would comment when the KMT names its candidate.

Tsai said her role at present is to listen to the public and exchange views with them as part of her preparation for the election in January next year.

Legislative Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who has announced her intention to run in the KMT primary, said that she did not think that Chu really meant to absent himself from the presidential race.

“He said what he said only because he was pressed too hard by the media,” Hung said.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan and CNA

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