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Sean Lien to announce plan to run for mayor of Taipei Feb. 24: sources

TAIPEI -- Sean Lien (連勝文), son of veteran politician and former Vice President Lien Chan (連戰), will formally announce his bid to runfor mayor of Taipei on Feb. 24, according to sources close to him Wednesday.

Though the location of the press conference has not yet been set,it is most likely to be held at a cultural establishment park appropriately called “The Mayor's Residence,” according to the sources.

The Kuomintang Central Committee member is expected to be accompanied by members of his “shadow Cabinet” consulting team at the press conference, where he plans to share the lengthy decision-making process that led him to throw his hat into the ring for the November election.

Lien's advisors reportedly include people from political, educational and industrial circles, echoing the consulting team formed by now-President Ma Ying-jeou when he first ran for the Taipei mayorship.

Before he can run for city hall, however, the 44-year-old businessman will have to compete against others in his party with similar ambitions.

After announcing his candidacy, Lien will need to come to arrangement with Kuomintang lawmakers Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) and Tsai Cheng-yuan (蔡正元), both of whom entered the race early on. Otherwise, the party will need to hold a primary to determine its candidate.

Incumbent Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) is not eligible for reelection because of a two-term limit, making the Taipei race one of the most hotly watched ahead of November's seven-in-one elections.

A considerable number of candidates from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have expressed their intention to run, including former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), attorney Wellington Koo (顧立雄), City Council Deputy Speaker Chou Po ya (周博雅), and lawmakers Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and Pasuya Yao.

An outspoken independent candidate with large support within the DPP, physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), has been tipped as a front runner.

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