Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet spokesman ready amid election bid chance

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) yesterday said he is willing to run in next year’s local elections, amid reports the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) plans to nominate him for Taipei, New Taipei City or Hsinchu County.

Hsu, a former DPP lawmaker, said he is ready to “go forward” if the party needs him, but it remains unclear for which of the three regions he could be nominated.

Speculation has centered on Hsu being nominated to represent the DPP in New Taipei City, as the party’s politicians who have announced their candidacy for the position — including DPP legislators Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) and Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), as well as Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Jin-chun (陳景峻) — have been underperforming in opinion polls against possible Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates.

The DPP is reportedly considering nominating Hsu for New Taipei City and Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) for Taipei.

Rumors have also linked Hsu to a nomination for Hsinchu County or even Taipei.

Hsu yesterday confirmed that local politicians and influencers from all three constituencies have supported his potential bid, but said the DPP has not decided on the matter.

All three constituencies are predominantly KMT-friendly, and in such cases the DPP has said it would directly nominate candidates without a primary election, he said.

“It is the party chairperson [President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)] who holds the right to nominate, so she has the final say on the matter,” Hsu said.

The DPP Electoral Strategy Committee, of which Hsu is a member, has not yet approached any potential candidates for the three constituencies, he added.

“A party member has to [comply with] the party’s decision, and if the party needs me to run [in a difficult constituency], I will go for it,” Hsu said when asked if he would accept a nomination to run in a KMT-dominated region.

Asked which prefers, Hsu said his priority is to carry out his duties as Cabinet spokesman while he weighs the options.

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