Sun, Jan 28, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Chiayi mayoral race heats up as Huang joins primary

‘FORMER GLORY’:Huang Min-hui, who served as the city’s mayor from 2005 to 2014, said she joins others’ efforts to return the city to the KMT ‘by throwing her hat in the ring’

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih, center, throws his support behind the third mayoral bid of former Chiayi mayor Huang Min-hui, third right, in the city yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Former Chiayi mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) yesterday announced her bid to run in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) primary for the city mayorship in the upcoming nine-in-one local elections.

Huang, who served as the city’s mayor for two terms from 2005 to 2014, made the announcement during a morning party in the city.

“Many good friends have told me that they wanted to see Chiayi return to its former glory,” Huang said on the sidelines of the event.

“I have decided to join their efforts by throwing my hat in the ring,” she added.

Having invested significant time and effort in listening to those at the grassroots level, Huang said she has the best grasp of people’s opinions and needs.

However, as a KMT member, Huang said she would respect the party leadership’s final decision.

Huang became the first woman in the KMT to take over the party’s helm in January 2016, when she was appointed interim party chairwoman after then-KMT chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) stepped down to take political responsibility for the KMT’s disastrous defeat in the presidential and legislative elections that year.

Huang only headed the party for two months before yielding the position to former deputy legislative speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) in March 2016, after losing to her in a party leadership by-election.

Interest in joining the KMT primary for the Chiayi mayoral post has also been expressed by two others: Chiayi City Council Speaker Hsiao Shu-li (蕭淑麗) and Jack Lee (李允傑), former minister of the now-defunct National Youth Commission.

The Chiayi position is currently held by Mayor Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲), a doctor-turned-politician and member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who defeated KMT candidate Chen Yi-chen (陳以真) by only 8,590 votes in the 2014 local elections.

During yesterday’s event, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said all three aspirants were talented and capable politicians.

“The KMT will choose Chiayi residents’ most preferred candidate through public opinion polls and a fair, just and open mechanism,” Wu said, expressing the hope that a KMT victory in the upcoming Chiayi mayoral election could pave the way for the party’s return to power in 2020.

The nine-in-one elections are scheduled for Nov. 24, when voters are to choose the mayors and city councilors of the six special municipalities, mayors and councilors in other cities, Aboriginal district representatives and councilors, county commissioners and councilors, township mayors and councilors, and borough and village wardens.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to prevent the DPP from losing Chiayi, the party’s headquarters is strongly promoting Twu, touting his political achievements to gain the support of county residents.

However, a source within the party said that an inability to “bring people together” is still Twu’s greatest challenge.

Additional reporting by Su Fang-ho

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