TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Tensions rose Sunday ahead of a press conference this morning that will likely see the race for the Kuomintang (KMT) leadership expand to three candidates.
Meanwhile, one of the contenders, former Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, announced that he would not seek the opposition party's presidential candidacy while serving as chairman.
In a Facebook post Sunday, Hau said he believed politicians who constantly targeted higher positions were unable to fulfill their current duties.
The comments came after he encouraged his rivals to resist using the party's leadership position as a stepping stone for higher office.
In a Facebook post Saturday announcing his bid for the KMT's top job, Hau said the role "should not be used as a means to elevate one's own political ambitions."
He added that the responsibility of the chairman was "to lead the party" instead of "benefiting from the office."
Hau said that he would refrain from seeking other positions, including the nation's presidency, if elected leader of the KMT.
He added that if elected leader, he would focus on uniting the party and grooming a new generation of KMT politicians.
Hau also said that future vice chairmen should serve as voices of various perspectives in the party, and that they should be given more authority.
Former Vice President Wu Den-yih has scheduled a press conference for Monday, where he is widely expected to throw his hat into the ring for the KMT's leadership.
Should Wu enter the race, it would bring the number of candidates to three, with the former vice president pitted against Hau and incumbent Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu.
At a press conference Sunday, Wu said running for leader would enable him to "give back to the party after all it has done for me during my political career."
Wu said "he had not troubled" KMT leaders to attend his press conference, as the event had been organized for local reporters.
Hung Weighs in on Hau Pact
When asked whether she would follow Hau's promise to not run for president should she win reelection, Hung said that she had "her own perspectives on the matter."
The current KMT leader added she would make sure that the party nominates "the best candidate possible for the presidential election."
On whether she would encourage Wu to adopt Hau's suggestion on refraining from seeking higher office, the chairwoman said that it was "not her place to enforce such an idea."
Hung praised her rivals Hau and Wu, saying they had "made significant contributions to the party."
The chairwoman said that Wu was an "exemplary KMT member with plenty of political experience," while Hau's experience as a former mayor of the capital city made him a "formidable candidate."
The chairwoman went on to call for a "clean" election, encouraging her rivals to refrain from using smear tactics.
KMT Leaders Urge Vice Chair to Reconsider Resignation
On Sunday, KMT Vice Chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) announced his resignation, saying he felt he had "completed his mission."
Reports had suggested that a rift between the Chan and Hung had driven his decision to quit.
Both Wu and Hung publicly urged Chan to reconsider, with Wu asking Chan to "think things over, as he is an invaluable asset to the party."
The incumbent KMT chairwoman said that she would "do her best to persuade Chan to reconsider."