Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-09-27 03:03 PM
The ruling Kuomintang has not named a candidate yet for the December 2014 election, but incumbent Eric Liluan Chu is widely expected to seek a second term.
“If the DPP supports me, I am willing to represent the party and strive to win the post of New Taipei City mayor,” Yu told reporters. Party chairman Su Tseng-chang and former chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen held a positive attitude toward his bid and had given him words of encouragement, he said.
Yu rejected claims that at 65, he was too old to launch an election campaign. “Coffins are for dead people, not for old people,” he reportedly said. Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng was 70, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu 65, and former President Lee Teng-hui was older than him when he still ran for re-election, Yu said.
The former premier said neither Su nor Tsai, who are both widely seen as potential DPP candidates for the 2016 presidential election, were interested in the New Taipei City contest.
Su governed the area during two terms when it was known as Taipei County, while Tsai was defeated by Chu in the 2010 mayoral election.
Yu said New Taipei could function as the engine of recovery for all of Taiwan. Before serving as premier under the DPP administration of President Chen Shui-bian, Yu also won two consecutive elections for magistrate of Yilan County.
Former DPP lawmaker Chuang Sho-han was reportedly already setting up billboards to support a bid of his own, while Lo Chih-cheng, head of the DPP’s New Taipei City local office, said he was still considering whether or not to run.
Chu welcomed the news of Yu’s declaration, but remained vague about his own plans.
Yu’s announcement came amid a welter of speculation about candidacies for the 2014 local elections, especially in neighboring Taipei City.
Prominent attorney Wellington Koo announced Wednesday he was interested in running for mayor of the capital, where KMT incumbent Hau Lung-bin ends his second and final term next year.
Other main opposition contender National Taiwan University chief traumatologist Ko Wen-je has not officially announced his bid yet, but repeatedly told reporters he was preparing himself. The doctor is not a member of the DPP but won support through his campaign for medical parole for ex-President Chen, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence on charges of corruption.
On the KMT side, a number of lawmakers and city councilors have said they would try to become the party’s official candidate, but most attention has focused on the intentions of Sean Lien, the elder son of former Vice President Lien Chan.
The younger Lien has failed to provide a clear picture of his plans, but commentators believe he is likely to announce a bid either in December or early next year.
Cable station TVBS published an opinion poll Friday showing Lien would receive 48 percent of the votes against 24 percent for Koo, or 42 percent against 32 percent for Ko if the election were held now.