Tue, Sep 20, 2016 - Page 3 News List

First hat tossed in ring for Taipei’s 2018 mayoral race

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday encouraged anyone willing to serve Taipei residents to run in the 2018 municipal elections, after former Control Yuan member Ger Yeong-kuang (葛永光) became the first person to say he would run for mayor.

Ger, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member and professor at National Taiwan University, announced his bid on Sunday in Los Angeles.

“Professor Ger and I go way back. Before he had the idea [of running for mayor], he discussed the matter with me. Of course I strongly encourage every outstanding talent willing to be at the service of Taipei [to run for mayor],” Hau said in a statement.

Hau, who was mayor from 2006 to 2014, said he believed it was good for a potential candidate to prepare early for an election so they can familiarize themselves with city affairs and give voters time to get to know them.

The position of mayor is extremely important and candidates should not rely on intensive media coverage in the last few months of a campaign for publicity, he said.

“They should get to know about the city’s affairs step-by-step and learn about the needs of residents so that they can table well thought out policies,” he said.

In an interview published yesterday in the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Ger dismissed speculation that he was only interested in running because of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) low opinion poll ratings.

“I started thinking about competing in the race after the presidential election earlier this year,” Ger said, adding that his bid was aimed at maintaining a balance between the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Allowing the DPP to dominate the political spectrum would hurt Taiwan and its democratic system, Ger said.

Ger said Committee of Illegal Party Asset Settlement Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) could be a potential rival in the 2018 race.

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