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KMT drops Huang Ching-tai as candidate in Keelung (update)

2014/07/09 19:46:20

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) decided Wednesday to withdraw its nomination of Huang Ching-tai as its candidate for Keelung City mayor in the year-end election amid bribery allegations and slipping public support.

The party has not yet named a replacement candidate.

The Central Standing Committee, the KMT's supreme policymaking body, approved the motion raised by four committee members led by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, a vice chairman of the party.

Huang, the incumbent speaker of the Keelung City Council, is under investigation for alleged influence peddling and corruption relating to a property development project in the northern port city.

Hau's motion noted that Huang has managed to secure bail in the prosecution's three attempts to detain him, but also said that the allegations have badly damaged the KMT's image and dimmed its chances of winning in the city of over 370,000 people.

A source in the party quoted President Ma Ying-jeou, who presided over the meeting in his capacity as KMT chairman, as calling the decision painful but necessary.

Speaking afterward, KMT spokesman Charles Chen said that KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan had tried to persuade Huang to drop out of the election over the phone but Huang rejected the proposal, vowing to defend his integrity to the end.

Huang has not commented on the KMT's decision thus far.

(By Maubo Chang)

●July 10: Keelung speaker insists on mayoral bid