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Annette Lu withdraws from DPP mayoral polls
Former vice president maintains 'right to compete'
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-10 03:37 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Vice President Annette Lu announced Saturday that she was withdrawing from opinion polls designed to pick the leading Democratic Progressive Party contender for the Taipei City mayoral election.

The polls will be conducted next Tuesday and the results announced on Wednesday. Including Lu, four DPP politicians were running for the nomination, but a second phase of the selection process was set to work out a deal with independent contenders Ko Wen-je and Neil Peng to choose one opposition candidate by mid-June.

At a news conference Saturday, Lu threw a spanner in the works by announcing she was pulling out of the opinion polls, accusing the DPP of lacking any character and of destroying its own rules.

However, she was not stepping out of the race completely, because in a statement she added that as long as she believed the DPP had a chance of winning the November 29 election, she would maintain her right to run for the mayoral position.

During the past few months, Lu was the fiercest critic of DPP attempts to work closer with Ko, who has been surging ahead of all the party’s contenders in most opinion surveys. The DPP members still participating in Tuesday’s polls are attorney Wellington Koo and lawmakers Yao Wen-chih and Hsu Tain-tsair.

Recent surveys also put Ko ahead of the official Kuomintang candidate, Sean Lien, the elder son of former Vice President Lien Chan. Last month, he defeated lawmaker Ting Shou-chung in a vote by party members and in opinion polls.

Without naming Ko, Lu criticized the DPP leadership for accommodating a certain candidate from outside the party, a person who publicly refused to join the DPP and to accept its values. Yet, the DPP was ready to conduct surveys comparing him to party members, violating rules for the selection of a candidate approved last August, she said.

Factional interests and personal benefits were taking precedence over party principles and discipline, according to the outspoken former vice president.

Koo, who was present at the mother’s day event where Lu announced her decision, said it would not have a major influence on the selection procedure.

Media reports have claimed that Koo was most likely to lead in Tuesday’s polls, but that Yao was catching up.

The Taipei City mayoral race is only one part of the nationwide regional and legal elections, which will form the final major test of popularity for the DPP and for President Ma Ying-jeou’s KMT ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The opposition party has listed winning over half the city mayoral and county magistrate positions as its main aim for November 29.

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