KMT wants Hou for New Taipei

EXPECTED::Several unfavorable allegations did not keep former New Taipei City deputy mayor Hou You-yi from winning the KMT primary for the New Taipei City mayoral race

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Apr 07, 2018 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced former New Taipei City deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) is the winner in the party’s three-legged primary for the mayoral election of New Taipei, the only KMT-governed special municipality.

KMT Organizational Development Committee Director Lee Che-hua (李哲華) announced the outcome at a morning news conference at KMT headquarters in Taipei, saying that Hou came in first in the averaged poll results, followed by former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) and former New Taipei City councilor Ching Chieh-shou (金介壽).

Contrary to previous practice, Lee did not disclose the actual poll numbers, saying that all three hopefuls agreed to only publish their rankings for the sake of party solidarity and harmony.

“They believe [that the party’s] victory in the mayoral race is all that matters,” Lee said.

The KMT’s New Taipei City chapter is scheduled to convene on Monday or Tuesday to officially submit Hou’s nomination to the party headquarters, Lee said, adding that the nomination is set to be reviewed and passed at a meeting of the KMT’s Central Standing Committee on Wednesday.

The nomination of KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) as the party’s Taoyuan mayoral candidate is also expected to be passed on Wednesday.

Hou’s victory had been expected, despite him being dogged by several unfavorable allegations, including one made by Ching that Hou, a policeman-turned-politician, had been involved with criminal gangs during his three-decade-long police career.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) on Tuesday also pointed to Hou as being the one ordered by the former KMT regime to lead a group of police officers in arresting democracy activist Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), who would later commit suicide by self-immolation on April 7, 1989.

Thanking his supporters for helping him to climb over the first hurdle, Hou, who assumed the deputy mayorship in December 2010, said on Facebook yesterday that he would strive to jump the second hurdle, the election itself, in the hope of serving the people of New Taipei City for another four years.

Chou said he would honor his promise not to leave the KMT and run as an independent, pledging to do whatever is necessary to support the party’s candidate.

However, Ching questioned the credibility of the poll results, saying that his poll monitors had discovered a surveyor writing down a name different from the candidate that the respondent said they supported.

Although the KMT decided not to reveal the poll numbers, a party source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Hou defeated Chou by nearly 20 percent and enjoyed a near 20 percent lead over former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) in a hypothetical scenario in which Su represented the DPP in the mayoral race.