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Ma Ying-jeou: No ‘personal’ opinions on Sean Lien
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-02-05 11:06 AM
KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou has apparently not been in contact with Sean Lien on the question of whether Lien should enter the race for mayor of Taipei. A senior official in the KMT explains that Ma is simply waiting for Lien to make a decision before saying anything on the matter and that he has no ‘personal’ opinions regarding Lien and his possible candidacy.

The source said that as a rule Ma does not express opinions on individual candidates, stressing that everything must be done according to the rules. In other words, he added, once a person announces his or her candidacy, the KMT Central Committee will begin coordinating preparations for the upcoming primary.

High-ranking party officials note that as far as they know Sean Lien is very much interested in joining the race. But he has informed the party that he plans to travel to the US to take part in a prayer breakfast, and the party will hold off taking any action until he returns to Taiwan. Once he has announced his decision the party will take appropriate action. The source added that "Whatever he does, he needs to do it quickly, or else it will be too late."

Officials note that Ma has always followed party rules in the past, and even though Yeh Chin-chuan is widely regarded as the Ma camp’s preferred candidate in the election, "everything will be done according to party rules." Thus Ma does not entertain any personal ideas regarding Lien, nor has he set up any kind of mechanism for dealing with Lien. Party insiders say that even though outside pundits speculate about the Ma camp’s plans, "We ourselves are wondering what we will do, and in fact have had no contact with [Lien]."

KMT Central Standing Committee member Li Teh-wei points out, "Of course, Sean Lien must also abide by party rules." He notes that Lien is a man of principle and will not ask Ma to meet with him before he has made a decision regarding the race. Li says it is not fair to Ma to make him look like a ‘kingmaker’ in the election, adding that Lien also has the greatest respect for Ma as President and leader of the party as well as for the Central Committee.

Lien left for the US Wednesday morning, and Li said that while many people hope that he will have dine with de facto representative to the US King Pu-tsung while in Washington, such a meeting would also put undue pressure on King. Li emphasized that Lien was directly invited by the US government and not through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thus King is not under any obligation to make arrangements for Lien during his visit.

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