Lien to announce mayoral decision in February
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-04 03:53 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Kuomintang Central Committee member Sean Lien said Saturday he would announce in February after the Lunar New Year holiday whether or not he would run in the Taipei City mayoral election.

Several KMT lawmakers and city councilors have indicated they wanted to become the ruling party’s candidate in the December 6 election, but Lien, the elder son of former Vice President Lien Chan, has been the favorite in the opinion polls.

He has consistently refused to commit himself to a choice, with family concerns for his safety reportedly playing a major role. He received more than 300 threatening letters against his candidacy, reports said Saturday.

In 2010, he was shot in the face as he appeared on stage during a campaign rally for a KMT candidate in New Taipei City. His recovery was considered miraculous by some, but a bystander was killed by a stray bullet. The man who was sentenced to life for the shooting said he had mistaken Lien for the local candidate.

The incident reportedly turned most of his relatives against an eventual bid for mayor. His father still serves as one of two honorary chairmen of the ruling party.

Lien has also had to battle an image problem because he lives at The Palace Mansion, a complex known as one of Taipei’s most expensive pieces of real estate. Recent media reports hinted that KMT leaders wanted him to move out in order to downplay his image as a member of one of the country’s wealthiest political families.

He told reporters at a lunch Saturday that he would also discuss the problem further in February. He felt there was no need to feel angry about the accusations, but it would not be his style to move out of his home before the election and then move back in afterward.

The demand for him to leave his luxury residence was interpreted by some media as an attack by opponents within the KMT. Lien has generally lived on a tense footing with President and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou. During September’s war of words between Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng over the latter’s alleged influence peddling, Lien and his father were generally seen as taking Wang’s side.

He recently also faced allegations about receiving benefits from the Ting Hsin International food group, while a sister, Lien Hui-hsin, was investigated for running a company which sold slimming capsules containing unauthorized medicine.

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