Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday declared his candidacy for a legislative seat in Keelung, ending speculation that he was planning to run in a legislative district where the party usually struggles.
Hau said he decided to enter the election in Keelung as part of the KMT’s strategy to “maximize the number of seats” the party can win in elections to be held on Jan. 16 for the ninth legislature.
Tasked with overseeing the party’s legislative nominations, Hau said he would do everything he could “to boost the party’s morale” when he was asked to comment on KMT Vice Chairperson Huang Min-hui’s (黃敏惠) apparent hesitancy to run for a legislative seat in Chiayi City — where she served as mayor for eight years.
The KMT faces a very tough battle to preserve its majority in the upcoming elections, Hau said, adding that “unity is the only way to secure victory.”
“I would never refuse or fear to go into battle for the good of the KMT,” Hau said.
Hau was previously said to have been considering making a legislative bid for a seat in Kaohsiung, Tainan or Taichung.
The decision to run in Keelung was made after a discussion with KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), Hau said.
Keelung was traditionally a pan-blue camp stronghold, but the mayoral election in November last year was won by Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as allegations of corruption involving former Keelung city council speaker Huang Ching-tai (黃景泰) led to a split in votes for the pan-blue camp.
Hau is to be joined in the race for a legislative seat in Keelung by 43-year-old Keelung City Councilor Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) of the DPP and People First Party candidate Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), who has represented the city for three terms.
Liu said it is strange that Hau has decided to run in a legislative election when he could rather have run for president.
“Could the KMT not find anyone from Keelung to run?” Tsai said.
Keelung Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) of the KMT said in February that he would not seek re-election, citing the party’s thrashing in the nine-in-one elections in November last year.
At least five KMT members have said they are interested in running for the seat, including Hsieh Li-kung, Lin Pei-hsiang (林沛祥), son of former Keelung mayor Lin Shui-mu (林水木), and Legislator-at-large Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍), among others.
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