Minister files application to join KMT amid Kaohsiung mayoral bid rumors

KEEPING MUM::Minister Without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing declined to confirm that he wants to try to run in the mayoral election in Greater Kaohsiung next year

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jul 04, 2013 - Page 3

Minister Without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) yesterday filed an application for party membership with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) amid speculation about a bid for the Greater Kaohsiung mayoral election.

Yang, a former Kaohsiung county commissioner and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member, visited KMT headquarters yesterday morning and handed his application to KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權).

He also met with KMT Organization and Development Committee director Su Chun-pin (蘇俊賓).

Yang said he had joined the KMT about 37 years ago as a student and later left because he did not agree with the party’s authoritarian rule at the time.

“The political environment has changed over the years and so has the situation in Taiwan. The KMT became an opposition party for eight years before regaining power and it is a localized party now,” he said.

He also lauded the KMT’s cross-strait policies as being pragmatic, while declining to confirm whether he had joined the party in an attempt to run in the Greater Kaohsiung mayoral election next year.

Yang ran unsuccessfully in the municipality’s mayoral race in 2010, when Kaohsiung city and county were merged. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), then the incumbent, won the DPP’s nomination for the post over Yang, prompting Yang to quit the party and run as an independent candidate.

Later at the Executive Yuan yesterday, Yang again evaded questions about the chances of him running in the election.

“There is still some time left until the election. It’s not necessary to make me the only target [for mayoral candidate]. Actually, I am really good at carrying a sedan chair. If the party finds a suitable candidate who has a good chance to win the election, I could be a good porter,” Yang said.

Asked if he would be the one to sit in the sedan chair, Yang said he would rather answer that question in the future.

Yang said he agreed to invitations to rejoin the KMT, one of which was extended by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), because he has found that he has similar ideas to Ma and that he agrees with the policies of the Ma administration.

Ma’s “three noes” policy — no unification, no independence and no use of force — and his adherence to the Republic of China are the best strategies to steer the nation, Yang said.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan