KMT to start second round of selecting candidates for seven-in-one elections

HEATING UP::The mayoral races in key electoral zones Greater Taichung and New Taipei City intensified after a KMT councilor and legislator announced their bids

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is to launch its second round of nominations today to select candidates for the seven-in-one municipal elections next year, while its nominees for the five special municipalities and Taoyuan will be chosen after the Lunar New Year holiday in February.

The party announced its candidates for the contests in Hsinchu City and Yunlin, as well as for Taitung and Kinmen counties in the first round of nominations.

The second round is to be completed next month, one month ahead of schedule.

The KMT candidates for the six major electoral zones — Taipei, New Taipei City (新北市), Taoyuan, Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung — will be named in the final round of nominations because the party needs to spend more time determining who is best suited for these key areas, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chun (楊偉中) said yesterday.

In New Taipei City, local city councilor Chen Ming-yi (陳明義) of the KMT yesterday announced that he will join the municipality’s mayoral contest because New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) is eying the 2016 presidential election.

Chu, who has been reluctant to discuss if he is planning a re-election bid, yesterday dismissed recent reports that he is considering running in Taipei instead and said he is focused on municipal developments.

Chu’s father-in-law, Kao Yu-jen (高育仁), former speaker of the now-defunct Taiwan Provincial Assembly, also dismissed the speculations.

Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) also declined to confirm his re-election bid in response to the announcement made by KMT Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦龍) that he will enter the race for the Greater Taichung mayorship.

Tsai said Hu has occupied the post for too long and called on his supporters to pledge to bring change to the municipality.

“Mayor Hu has set a record in number of mayoral terms served and I think voters have already made up their minds on whether he has been in charge for too long,” Tsai said.

Hu has served as mayor for three terms over more than 11 years. He is eligible for re-election because Taichung City’s status was upgraded to the special municipality of Greater Taichung in 2010.

Hu said he respected Tsai’s decision to enter the race, but declined to confirm whether he would seek re-election.