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September 21, 2017

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KMT battle for Taichung mayoral bid heats up

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) reiterated yesterday that he will not announce whether or not he plans to run for another term until February, while Kuomintang (KMT) lawmakers Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) and Chi Kuo-tung (紀國棟) stressed that they will not give up their bid for the ruling party's nomination until the primaries conclude.

Hu, Tsai and Chi yesterday shared the stage at a Taichung City Government event.

Hu told reporters that President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as KMT chairman, spoke to him recently but declined to reveal the content of his conversation with the president. The mayor said that he will make a decision in February, adding that certain people were being unfair by describing him as "coy."

The mayor said that Taichung is improving, but in order to ensure further development, he cannot put his own interests above the city's.

"It is not imperative that (I) run for mayor, but it is imperative that (the KMT) win the election," Hu said, stressing that he will make an announcement after Chinese New Year.

Contenders

Chi, on the other hand, said that running for Taichung mayor has been a life-long aspiration of his, and that he has never wavered in this respect. The lawmaker added that if Hu announces his bid for another term, he will respect the incumbent mayor's decision, but he will not alter his plans.

Chi said that the central government owes Taichung, and that making Taichung the capital is a vision shared by the people of Taichung.

Tsai, who announced his intention to take part in the primaries in December, said that he will follow through until the very end regardless of who his competitors are. The lawmaker added that as far as he's concerned, there is no room from compromise, and that he will maintain a spirit of sportsmanship.

"Competition before the end (of the primaries) will be fierce, but there will be solidarity once (the primaries) come to an end," Tsai said.

The lawmaker explained, however, that he doesn't intend to challenge Hu, but Hu has served three terms as mayor.

Judging from his experience and abilities, Hu should take up a post within the Cabinet, while the Taichung mayoral office should be handed over to a younger generation, Tsai said, adding that this would be in line with the public's expectations.

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