Former Tainan County commissioner and Taiwan Renewal Party convener Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) yesterday announced his bid for Taipei mayor in the Nov. 26 elections.
Su, who was Tainan County commissioner from 2001 to 2010, announced in 2018 that he would leave the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and run for Taipei mayor, but ended up running as an independent candidate for Tainan mayor, which he lost to current Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲).
Despite fierce opposition from his wife, Huang said he has a responsibility to “history and to the land,” and after hesitating for three months, decided to devote himself to the campaign.
Su presented his platform of government, aimed at solving the difficulties facing young people and the nation’s low birthrate.
Comparing himself to “Don Quixote,” Su said he would undertake the mission of speaking out for Taipei’s young residents.
“Taiwan should take more drastic measures against the lowest birthrate in the world,” he said, proposing to make Taipei the first city to provide full financial support for child-rearing until the age of six.
He proposed strategies to solve the housing problem, such as imposing an empty homes tax, making the rental market completely transparent, implementing rent control and prioritizing turning public land into social housing.
Taipei should take the lead in reviving Taiwan’s film industry by turning Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and nearby venues into a movie creative park, he said.
Following the example of Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin and Seoul, Taipei should allow self-governance for its 12 districts, he said.
“Taipei needs a mayor who is willing to listen to the people and accept diversity,” he added.
With the nation’s two major political parties, and possibly the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), having nominated strong candidates for the position, Su said the votes he gets might be embarrassingly low.
However, he said he hoped his run would raise public awareness about the difficult position young Taiwanese are in and the low birthrate, which is a threat to national security.
In addition to Su, DPP candidate Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) and lawyer Winifred Tung (童文薰) are vying for the Taipei mayoral seat.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) has signaled her intention to run, but has yet to officially declare her candidacy and whether she would run as an independent or represent the TPP.
Additional reporting by CNA
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