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June 24, 2017

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NSC advisor willing to run in Keelung mayoral election

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- National Security Council advisor Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) said yesterday that if the Kuomintang (KMT) were to nominate him as mayoral candidate for Keelung, he will do his best to win the election.

Hsieh added that although the race would undoubtedly be challenging, he is confident that he will win it if given the chance to run.

After nullifying its resolution to nominate Keelung Municipal Council Speaker Huang Ching-tai (黃景泰), the ruling party has been actively seeking a replacement. Sources within the KMT said that high-level party members favor Hsieh.

Huang was removed as a candidate following his involvement in a corruption investigation. Prosecutors made three attempts to detain him, but the speaker was ultimately released on bail by the district court. In spite of the KMT's decision, Huang announced that he will continue to run, adding that he is innocent of the allegations, which he maintained were part of an attempt to sabotage his chances.

Despite indicating a willingness to run in the race, Hsieh said that he will listen to the demands of Keelung citizens first.

The NSC advisor confirmed yesterday that he had transferred his household registry over to Keelung, a necessary move for him to run in the race.

Hsieh previously served as head of the National Immigration Agency.

According to local reports, the KMT may come to a decision to draft Hsieh as soon as July 30 during its weekly Central Standing Committee meeting.

Sources within the KMT said that regardless of who gets the nomination, the KMT's Keelung chapter will have to submit the candidate's name to headquarters, after which the party's review committee, after deliberation, will pass the final decision on to the Central Standing Committee.

Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said that he has yet to receive confirmation from the KMT, but that he believes his party will settle on the best candidate possible. New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), on the other hand, urged the KMT to come to a decision soon.

Local reports claimed that President Ma Ying-jeou had attempted to persuade Keelung-based Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) to run in the race, but the lawmaker turned down the offer, citing objections from his family.

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