Fri, Oct 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Culture minister denies bid in Taipei mayoral election

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

From left, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun, Taiwan Art Gallery Association director-general Chung Ching-hsin and Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang look at an artwork at the Art Taipei exhibition in the Taipei World Trade Center yesterday. The exhibition opened yeseterday and is to run through Monday.

Photo: CNA

Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) yesterday said she does not have any intention to run for Taipei mayor after lawmakers and media reports suggested her possible candidacy.

Chang, a former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator, was named as a possible DPP mayoral candidate to run against Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) in next year’s elections, as the rift between the DPP and the independent mayor widens.

Cheng is considered by some to be a stronger candidate than DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), who long ago announced his intention to run for Taipei mayor.

Cheng is a well-liked politician who has never entered an election and could have greater potential to win than Yao.

Ahead of a question-and-answer session of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee yesterday, Cheng told the media that she did not have any intention of running in the election.

“I have experience in stumping for candidates, in being a legislator-at-large, but I have no experience in elections, which I have never considered,” she said.

Cheng, who took office on May 20 last year, said she is needed in her role to oversee a variety of cultural policies, especially those passed at the National Cultural Congress last month, adding that she wants to spend more time with her family.

Last month’s congress — the first in 15 years, aimed at soliciting public opinion as the foundation for cultural policy — was preceded by nationwide public hearings.

News of Cheng as a dark-horse candidate emerged earlier this week as reports claimed that DPP members had persuaded Cheng to seek the candidacy, with Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) endorsing her.

Cheng has a well-rounded resume and is an outstanding minister, lawmaker, think tank director and election campaigner. She has the edge of being a woman and an intellectual who is perceived to be honest and insightful, Tsai said.

Tsai urged the DPP to consider Cheng as a mayoral candidate for Taipei or other cities.

“We have unanimously recommended Cheng as the best dark horse on many occasions,” Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said.

Yao said he welcomed Cheng’s possible candidacy, adding that “all DPP politicians that have been named as possible Taipei mayoral candidates are better than Ko.”

Yao urged the party to end its alliance with Ko and field its own candidate, as the conflicts between the DPP administration and the Taipei City Government have compromised the well-being of Taipei residents.

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