Rumors are circulating in Tainan political circles that Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) is considering running for New Taipei City mayor should New Taipei City Mayor and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) announce a bid for next year’s presidential election, while Lai’s ambiguous response to the rumor yesterday served only to further speculation.
“I have not yet decided [whether to run for New Taipei City mayor],” Lai said. “It seems like someone [intentionally] spread the rumor to hold Chu back from giving up his position and running for president... I do not want to spoil the effect of the rumor by giving a specific statement.”
“I’ve never said that I would serve out my four-year term. What I said was: ‘I would do my best to manage city affairs,’” Lai added.
Lai’s team reportedly “feels uncomfortable” at Lai’s renunciation of his bid for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential nomination and his supporters have been urging him to “take his political career to the next level,” people in Tainan political circles said.
That “next level” might include the vice presidency or premiership, if presidential candidate and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) names Lai as her running mate, or if she wins next year’s presidential election and appoints Lai as the premier, the people said, adding that another option for Lai would be to “venture into northern Taiwan to expand his political territory.”
Taking into account Lai’s character, it is unlikely that he would be comfortable as Tsai’s deputy, people close to Lai said, adding that it remains uncertain whether Lai would assume the premiership if Tsai is elected president.
Until the uncertainties are resolved, it would be better for Lai to “depend on himself” and make a bid for New Taipei City mayor in order to enrich his political experience by serving as mayor in municipalities in both southern and northern Taiwan, which could boost his electoral chances for the 2020 or 2024 presidential elections, people in Tainan political circles said.
If Chu resigns as New Taipei City mayor to run in the presidential election, it is likely that Lai would run in the mayoral by-election for New Taipei City, the people said.
If he were to do that, Lai would have to resign as Tainan mayor, leading to a by-election for Tainan mayor, which is a cause of concern for Lai, they added.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of
Actress Hu Ling (胡伶) on Saturday became the first Chinese movie star to walk the red carpet of the Golden Horse Awards since 2019, when China boycotted Taiwan’s biggest awards show over political tensions. Beijing banned its entertainers from joining the awards, dubbed the Chinese-language Oscars, after documentary director Fu Yu (傅榆) voiced support for Taiwan’s formal independence in an acceptance speech in 2018. There were no films from China in the 2019 nomination list and several Hong Kong movies dropped out that year, while several big commercial productions were conspicuously absent at both the 2020 and 2021 awards. However, Hu, nominated for