Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taipei deputy mayor confirms sights set on top New Taipei City election

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun, right, is questioned by reporters during an appearance at an agriculture promotion event in Taipei on Sept. 9 as Yunlin County Commissioner Lee Chin-yung, left, looks on.

Photo: CNA

Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) yesterday confirmed he plans to run for New Taipei City mayor in next year’s elections, and predicted the race is likely to end up a contest between himself and New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou Yu-yi (侯友宜).

Chen made the remarks during a radio show hosted by political commentator Huang Kuang-chin (黃光芹).

Chen confirmed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had approached him about entering the race, saying that he began to take the idea seriously after attending a New Taipei City Yunlin Fellowship Association event on Sept. 29, where many people encouraged him to run.

Whether he would run on the DPP ticket would be up to public opinion, as DPP legislators Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) and Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) have also said they are interested in entering the party primary for the New Taipei City race, while the mayor of New Taipei City — and Taipei County before that — has often come from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

New Taipei City is the only one of the nation’s six special municipalities that is not governed by the DPP or someone that it supports, so the election would be tough to win.

Asked if Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had given him permission to run in the election, he said he had once told Ko that he had received positive responses attending fellowship association events, and that Ko agreed he could campaign in his free time.

Ko also told him that he would have to put a lot of effort into an election campaign if that is what he decided to do, adding “no pain no gain,” Chen said.

Huang asked Chen how he would handle a potential conflict of interest down the road, as Hou is supported by New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), who might try to run for president again in 2020, and Chen might be supported by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is expected to seek re-election, and Ko, who might also seek the president in 2020.

He said he is a DPP member, so he would certainly support whoever the party nominates as its next presidential candidate, but that he thinks Ko is unlikely to run for president in 2020.

However, Chen said he thinks the New Taipei City race would be “an exciting battle between two deputy mayors” if he is nominated, and that it would be a battle between policies.

Meanwhile, asked later in the day whether he would help Chen win support, Ko said: “I will encourage him and help him if I can … but actually, I think the critical element of winning at the end in elections is the efforts made by the candidates themselves, as support from other people has a limited impact.”

Asked by a reporter about his remark that candidates’ personal charms are very important and whether he considers Chen to have the necessary personal charm, Ko said it was difficult to predict at this point.

It all depended upon how Chen performed in the next six months, as public opinion changes rapidly, Ko said.

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