Wed, Jun 20, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Huang Kuo-chang denies mayoral ambitions, for now

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Running for New Taipei City mayor is not on his to-do list, but supporting the party’s New Taipei City councilor candidates is, New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said yesterday.

During a morning interview on Clara Chou’s (周玉蔻) Hit FM radio show, Huang was asked if he was planning to enter the New Taipei City mayoral race in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.

While he would “never say never” to running for mayor, for the moment he was focused on his responsibilities as head of the party, Huang said.

“According to the NPP’s regulations, the party’s chairman and decisionmaking committee must be re-elected after every major election. So regardless of how the elections turn out, the chairman and committee members would all have to step down,” he said.

The NPP has 42 candidates so far, and while it has yet to set detailed objectives for the elections, his personal goal is to ensure that all of its New Taipei City councilor candidates are elected, he said.

“If any of those candidates is not elected, that would be my responsibility,” he added.

Media outlets reported that Huang and NPP Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) in January argued over amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).

Asked if he and Lim, who is responsible for the NPP Taipei councilor candidates, are competing to see whose has the most winners, Huang said the rumors were an attempt by outsiders to divide them.

“As a party member, I am responsible for our entire election results,” he said.

The NPP would announce two more New Taipei City councilor candidates in the next two weeks to join the current five, he said.

The New Taipei City Council needs more professional, clear-headed and hardworking members, he said.

“We hope to revitalize the city by working on a wide range of issues, including making houses more affordable, improving public childcare services and traffic. At a number of news conferences, our candidates have already pointed out many problems with the city’s policies and proposed ways to make improvements,” he said.

He also urged two of the mayoral hopefuls — former New Taipei City deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of the Democratic Progressive Party — to debate him on the city’s housing policy.

“The city’s housing prices have remained very high, even though there are plenty of empty homes in districts such as Sinjhuang (新莊), Linkou (林口) and Danhai (淡海). This is a very serious problem,” he said. “How are young people with low wages going to have a future?”

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