Former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) will announce his intention to run for Taipei City mayor today, the Central News Agency reported yesterday, citing unnamed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sources.
The news comes amid speculation that Su would vie for the party's nomination in either Taipei or Sinbei cities. City councilors in both cities have publicly announced their hope that Su, who is riding high in opinion polls, would run in their cities.
The report said that Su met DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday afternoon after an apparent mix-up over Tsai's schedule on Monday, which forced a previously arranged meeting to be canceled. During the 30-minute meeting, which reportedly took place at party headquarters in Taipei, Su talked to Tsai about his intention to run in Taipei City.
The announcement comes after a nomination team set up by Tsai held its first meeting yesterday, but yielded no decisions regarding the party's nominations for December's five special municipality elections.
Speaking after the meeting, DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said the team worked on critical issues, including nomination timetables and procedures. He did not say if the team had already met prospective candidates.
“Nominations will be focused on helping the DPP win, but will also take into account opinions from our prospective candidates,” Su Jia-chyuan said. “The consensus is we will focus on deliberation to pick the candidates.”
A party press release later said the team would choose nominees through dialogue rather than internal party polls in Tainan and Kaohsiung. It also stated that in other cities, the team would handle the nominations through discussion, with the DPP standing committee having final say.
Four DPP politicians have stated their intention to run in Tainan City. In Kaohsiung City, Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) have announced their intention to run.
In Taichung City, former Cabinet spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and former DPP legislator Kuo Chun-ming (郭俊銘) have expressed their wish to run on the DPP ticket. Former DPP Taipei County commissioner You Ching (尤清) also said on Monday he would like to run in Sinbei City.
Tsai and Su Jia-chyuan have dismissed rumors that they would take part in the elections. Speaking after the press conference, Su Jia-chyuan said he had no plans to run in Sinbei or any other city.
Commenting on Su Tseng-chang's chances, DPP Legislator William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday in the legislature that between the two cities, Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) would present the greater challenge.
If the DPP were to have a chance of winning such an important political battleground, it would have to nominate Su Tseng-chang, he said.
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