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DPP to nominate candidate for Taipei mayor: spokesman

2018/05/16 18:51:27

Democratic Progressive Party spokesman Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬)

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has decided to field a candidate for November's Taipei mayoral race, DPP spokesman Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said Wednesday.

The DPP's election strategy committee finalized the decision that day after it decided May 2 to start consultations among party members about potential candidates.

Former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and Legislator Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) have announced their intention to seek their party's support to run in the Taipei mayoral race, while former Tainan Magistrate Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) announced March 3 that he was leaving the DPP after 27 years of membership to run as an independent.

The DPP's election strategy committee will solicit others who are interested in running, according to Cheng.

The city's incumbent mayor is Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who was supported by the DPP when he ran as an independent in the 2014 mayoral election.

The DPP holds an absolute majority in the 113-seat Legislative Yuan and according to Cheng, this is a crucial moment for Taiwan's reform work, so the party has to shoulder greater responsibility by nominating its own candidate for Taipei mayor because its nominee, if elected, is expected to push city policies that are in line with those of the central government.

The party committee will soon start the recruitment process and the assessment of potential candidates before embarking on coordination between the potential candidates and forging a consensus, Cheng said.

If a consensus fails to be reached, the committee will then resort to a competition system, according to Cheng.

The DPP will only recruit party members to run and if other hopefuls want to be drafted by the party, they will have to join the party, Cheng added.

After learning of the committee's decision, Yao said he is confident he will win the nomination.

Lu said the decision is an important and correct step the DPP must take to take back Taipei and she expressed hope that she can gain the full support of the party.

Su said the DPP's move will deal a direct blow to Ko, while the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) will be happy to see the development, adding that he will target independent voters.

Former KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) who has won the party primary to become its candidate in the election, said that given that the DPP and Ko have their own administrative edges and resources, he will try to garner the support of independent voters by offering well-designed policies.

Ko, meanwhile, said he will run for re-election and has no plans to join the DPP.

(By Lu Hsin-hui, Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao)
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