Eric Chu tight-lipped on election bid

FOCUSING ON THE JOB::The New Taipei City mayor said the development of his municipality was his main priority in an effort to ensure its residents’ happiness

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Nov 17, 2013 - Page 3

New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said he will focus on the city’s development and declined to discuss the possibility that he might run in the 2016 presidential election.

“There’s still a lot of time until 2016. My priority is to focus on the city’s development and work with the Taipei City Government on the twin city cooperation projects [with Taipei] in order to bring more happiness for our citizens,” he said yesterday while attending an agricultural product promotion activity in Taipei.

Chu’s comments came in response to remarks made by his father-in-law, former speaker of the defunct Taiwan Provincial Assembly Kao Yu-jen (高育仁), that Chu should seek to represent the KMT in the 2016 presidential election “if the nation needs him.”

In an interview with News 98 radio on Friday, Kao criticized President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for what he said was a lack of understanding of the legislature, and said he should take a more proactive approach to leading the nation.

When asked about Chu’s chances in the 2016 presidential election, Kao said he did not have information on his bid, but would not oppose it if he decided to run the election.

“If the nation needs him, he should not hesitate to seek the candidacy,” he said.

Chu yesterday said he was aware of his father-in-law’s comments, and would remind him to “pay more attention when commenting [on the issue].”

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who also attended the event, said the KMT will be united in seeking victory in the presidential election, but declined to confirm whether he would join the election.

“Mayor Chu and I are both focusing on the city development, and we meet regularly to discuss cooperation between the two special municipalities.

The KMT will be united in the 2016 election because only with unity can we win the election,” said Hau, also a KMT member.

Both Chu and Hau are perceived as likely KMT candidates for the presidential election.

As Ma indicated that he would not hand-pick a preferred successor, the two mayors will be competing for the presidential candidacy with another two rivals — Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).