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KMT's Lien dismisses 'influence of money' comment by former DPP Chairman Hsieh

TAIPEI -- Kuomintang (KMT) candidate for Taipei mayor Sean Lien on Tuesday declined to respond to comments that he had a good chance of winning in November because of the “influence of money.”

Responding to the comments by former premier and former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Frank Hsieh, the famously rich Lien said that he is running for mayor to serve the public and would not comment on what he called chewing the fat.

His comment came after an opinion poll published by the China Times Tuesday put Lien's support at 30.9 percent, well below the 38.6 percent of his main rival, independent Ko Wen-je. But Lien led his rival by a slim margin of almost 1 percent when asked who respondents expected to be the winner.

In a biting comment earlier in the day, Hsieh attributed the discrepancy to people's expectations that the “influence of money” and Lien's huge pool of resources will bring him to victory.

The wealth of the Lien family is well known among voters. Lien's father, Lien Chan, has served as premier and vice president of the country and chairman of the KMT and the family owns prime real estate worth a considerable sum across Taipei.

Asked whether his poor performance in opinion polls will affect his mood, the younger Lien said Tuesday that he has been upbeat and has read the results of at least six polls over the past three days, adding that he could not say which ones are the most accurate.

Regardless, he said, he will stick to the race and keep moving in the same direction.

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