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Chu responds to presidential election speculation

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu(朱立倫) yesterday responded to earlier reports of him opting to declare his position in running for re-election next Saturday, saying that his current focus is on municipal policies and not the elections.

In the press conference following the municipal meeting, Chu stated that he opts to conduct everything according to the schedule set by the Kuomintang (KMT). The KMT, said the mayor, have their own plans in which nominations and announcements for his future positions will be released in due time.

Chu's staff told reporters that currently there are no plans for the mayor to declare his position next Saturday. Media reports claiming this cited no references and the same accusation already circulated two weeks ago.

 President Ma Ying-jeou stated during his sixth year anniversary as president trip to Taichung yesterday that he frequently converses with the mayor and that the public will soon be notified of future plans. A member of the KMT is quoted to have said that the latest available time for mayoral and magisterial elections is July, and that it is possible for Chu to declare his position anytime before then.

During a press questionnaire, Chu said that he felt as if some people and some media outlets won't leave him alone, as shown by the continuous false accusations and reports. The most important job of a mayor is the municipal administration of his city, concluded the mayor.

KMT Senior Official Sheds Light on New Taipei Mayoral Election

A senior official from the KMT stated that should Chu decide not to run for re-election as New Taipei City Mayor, the KMT currently has two names as potential candidates for consideration: KMT lawmaker Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) and Former Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源).

Both candidates are equipped with the necessary expertise and experience for the job, said the official, with Lee possessing an overall popularity and Lin possessing a local network within New Taipei City. Reportedly, Chu's personal choice for a successor is his current deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜).

Taipei Mayor Asked About Future Plans

Following Chu's response to his position in the mayoral and presidential election, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) was also questioned by media during a question and answer session following his municipal meeting on whether he will pursue a presidential nomination after stepping down from his current post.

KMT Taipei Councilor Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠) had supposedly questioned the mayor on his plans and later showed her support should Hau seek a presidential nomination within the KMT.

Hau reportedly gave Chin the same answer he later gave to the press, stating that he does not think about what matters tomorrow but only today and that currently the most important issue at hand is to do his best in municipal administration.

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New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) answers questions during the New Taipei City Council Session. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) New Taipei City councilors requested that Hou declare his position in running for mayor. Hou reportedly responded that he will perform his proper duties as deputy mayor and that he will decide on his own future plans at a later date.

(CNA)

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