Keelung candidate presents 76,000 signatures
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-18 05:05 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Huang Ching-tai, the former Kuomintang mayoral candidate in Keelung, said Friday he had collected 76,938 endorsements in support of his independent bid.

Huang, who is still serving as speaker of the city council, is facing an investigation into allegations he accepted bribes from construction companies in return for allowing city inspectors to go slow on violations of building codes and regulations. The case is only the latest in a string of corruption accusations against county- and city-level KMT officials and politicians in the run-up to the November 29 local elections.

The KMT leadership decided on July 9 to cancel Huang’s nomination, but he has insisted he will continue running for the mayoralty. The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate, Lin Yu-chang, is leading in the opinion polls, why the KMT still has to pick a replacement. A meeting by President and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou with legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang failed to persuade the latter to accept the nomination.

At a news conference outside a Keelung temple Friday, Huang repeated his determination to continue his bid for the mayoralty of the northern harbor city. He had initially claimed he could find 50,000 citizens willing to support him.

He also announced he would be dropping plans for legal action against the KMT’s Central Standing Committee for its decision to cancel his nomination. “The Kuomintang is my good friend forever,” he said.

Huang also called on prosecutors to hurry up with their investigation of the allegations against him. They should find the truth and lay it out in the open for everyone to see, he said. Three times prosecutors applied to a court to have Huang detained, but each time their request was turned down.

The politician said that his campaign would begin to present new policies for the city beginning early August.

At the moment, he was not considering giving up his KMT membership, he told reporters.

In addition to Hsieh, former immigration agency chief Hsieh Li-kung, no relation of the lawmaker, has also been named as a potential KMT nominee. Others named in the media included former presidential Vice Secretary-General Lo Chih-chiang, and former government spokesmen Philip Yang and Su Jun-pin, but most of them denied they were considering a bid.

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