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Lien to decide bid for mayoral race soon

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former Vice President Lien Chan (連戰), said that he will make a statement “very soon” on whether or not he intends to run for Taipei mayor.

Lien is widely regarded as a favorite by pan-blue supporters with regard to the upcoming mayoral race but has so far declined to make a definitive statement.

When asked if rumors of his wife having objections to him running for mayor were true, Lien said that there is a degree of truth in those claims.

In response to rumors of Kuomintang (KMT) headquarters having an “unspoken agreement” with him, Lien said that the headquarters has not contacted him, denying the existence of an “unspoken agreement.”

On Dec. 15, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) also denied the existence of unspoken agreements with Taipei mayoral hopefuls.

Regarding the assassination attempt against him in 2010, Lien said that having an experience like that may turn some people off from politics, but others might be prompted instead to change politics, and that he identifies himself with the latter group.

Lien was shot in the face at close range while stumping for a KMT candidate in New Taipei City.

In response to reporters' questions, Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said, “If (Lien) runs (for mayor), we will of course support him.”

When asked if either Lien or Lien's father had asked his opinion, Wang said no.

The speaker elaborated his position by saying that he will throw his support behind Lien if Lien is nominated by his party, but that he will also support any KMT lawmaker who gets the nomination.

When asked what he thought about Lien as a possible candidate, Wang said that Lien is an ideal candidate.

Lien Versus Ko, KMT Mayoral Hopefuls

In response to polls indicating that he is more than 10 percentage points behind Taipei mayor aspirant Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who is associated with the pan-green camp, in public opinion polls, Lien said that he sees the results in a positive light as a metaphorical “alarm bell” and as a form of “encouragement.”

“I wish there were more polls like these,” Lien said.

An aid of his told local reporters that Lien has spent some time thinking about the possibility of running for mayor, and that in order to accommodate the KMT's schedule regarding the primaries, Lien intends to make a statement soon.

Sources within the KMT said that several party members have expressed their wishes to run for mayor, and that the primaries will not be held until after the Chinese New Year celebrations.

So far, KMT Legislators Tsai Cheng-yuan (蔡正元) and Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) as well as Taipei Councilors Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平), Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠) and Yang Shih-chiu (楊實秋) have all expressed a wish to run for mayor. Despite not having made an announcement yet, Lien has frequently cropped up on top of polls regarding public support for possible KMT candidates.

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Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former Vice President Lien Chan (連戰), attends a press event. Lien, widely regarded as a pan-blue favorite for the Taipei mayoralty, said that he will make an announcement “very soon” on whether or not he will run for mayor. (Image captured from the Internet)

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