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KMT kicks off Taichung mayoral primaries

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Kuomintang (KMT) yesterday kicked off its party primaries for Taichung after current Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) announced his bid to run for re-election.

After the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chose Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) for its mayoral candidate, Hu announced his re-election bid. The incumbent is set to take part in the Kuomintang's primaries after serving 13 years as mayor.

The KMT's Taichung chapter provided primary election application forms on Feb. 6 and 7, and it plans to receive the completed forms on Feb. 14 and 15. If more than one aspirant registers, the party will hold a public survey in order to determine the ultimate candidate; the choice will be made around mid-March, said the KMT.

Hu and fellow party members Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) and Chi Kuo-tung (紀國棟), both of whom expressed a wish to run for Hu's predecessor, showed up at the Taichung chapter for application forms.

"I hope I can attend the Chinese New Year greetings as the Mayor of Taichung next year, but if I don't win the party primaries, I hope all of you will still support one of the other two; at least one of us shall return for the New Year greeting as the mayor," Hu declared.

Former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) responded to Hu's re-election bid yesterday, saying that Hu should let go of the city and that Taichung was in need of change. "(Hu) should let someone young and full of vigor be mayor and lead Taichung to progress," said Tsai, who had accompanied DPP candidate Lin for a round of prayers and New Year blessings in the temples of Taichung.

Hu announced his bid with the words, "It is not difficult at all (to leave office), but it is difficult to set one's mind at ease." Tsai suggested that this mindset was an excuse for Hu's re-election, saying that "if this is Hu's logic, then Taichung shall never have a new mayor."

The transportation and infrastructure in greater Taichung are lacking; people cannot see what the Taichung government has been doing, said Tsai, who reiterated that the city needs to be changed.

Lien Still Undecided on Taipei Mayoral Bid: United Daily News

KMT bigwig Lien Chan's son Sean Lien (連勝文), a favorite for Taipei City Mayor, remarked yesterday that he was still undecided on whether he would run for the much coveted position. "The answer has gone from 'no' to 'maybe.' I still have to think about my family and my job. Despite all that, I do have something I want to do: I hope I can serve (in) the government and make the living environment better, giving people something to be glad about," said Lien in an interview with the United Daily News.

Lien added that the main reason that brought about the thought of running for mayor are the public voices that have been saying "Taiwan is stuck and is not progressing as fast as other countries are."

"The government especially has been limiting itself with its selfish departmentalism while others progress rapidly and we are left with nothing," said Lien.

"I cannot take charge of everything. If I am going to run in the elections, I will not tell lies (about my capabilities); I will achieve everything I promise," Lien stressed, also adding that he will be announcing his decision around the time of the Lantern Festival.

February 7, 2014    clh0728@
I am afraid I have to agree with what former DPP chairwoman Tsai said. For all these years under Mayor Hu, nothing had changed but more and more expensive condominiums being built in the 7th District, making once affordable housing in Taichung as expensive as in Taipei. And this has gone unchecked with prices now soaring to NT$600k per ping, ridiculous for Taichung but chicken-feed for those in Taipei. If KMT is serious about retaining Taichung, they need to nominate another candidate.
February 10, 2014    ludahai_twn@
Tsai is right about transportation in this city. There are cities in third world countries with better transportation infrastructure than Taichung has.
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