Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT still confident in spite of strong challenge from Su

By Weng Lu-ching and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporters

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday remained confident of its chances in retaining control over New Taipei City, despite facing what is believed to be strong competition from the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) prospective candidate, former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

Su, who governed New Taipei City’s predecessor — Taipei County — from 1997 to 2004, on Thursday accepted President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nomination to represent the DPP in November’s New Taipei City mayoral election. His nomination is expected to be made official by April 25.

Speaking on the sidelines of a visit to the city’s Ankeng No. 1 Road, which is still under construction, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the KMT said that four of the five opinion polls that he saw this week showed that his party’s candidate, former New Taipei deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), was leading Su by 14 to 22.6 percentage points.

The results cited by Chu stand in stark contrast to the one published by the Taiwan NextGen Foundation on Thursday, which found Su, who received an approval rating of 42.6 percent among New Taipei City residents, is in a dead heat with Hou, who garnered 41.7 percent support.

“That is why even though surveys are important references, we must keep fighting and not let our guard down,” said Chu, who has been mayor since December 2010.

In response to media queries for comment on the Thursday poll showing higher satisfaction with Su’s leadership performance than with his, Chu said that the comparison was made between two backgrounds vastly separated in time, hinting that it was an unfair comparison.

“For instance, structures such as the Ankeng No. 1 Road project, the Ankeng light railway project, the Ankeng branch of Cardinal Tien Hospital or the New Taipei Municipal Da Guan Elementary and Junior High School did not exist a decade ago,” Chu said.

The many new infrastructure projects in the city were the result of years of hard work on behalf of his administration, Chu said, adding that such efforts would be continued.

Separately yesterday, Hou said that although he welcomed Su’s comeback to New Taipei City, Su should prioritize city residents over the DPP.

Defending Chu’s performance as mayor, Hou said that the city has progressed over the years to the extent that it looks completely different from when Su held office there.

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