Mooted DPP pick quits New Taipei mayoral race over nomination delay
Taipei, July 3 (CNA) Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), who had been tipped as the party's candidate for New Taipei mayor in Taiwan's Nov. 26 local elections, pulled out of contention Sunday, citing delays in formalizing his nomination.
DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) had asked Lo, who heads the party's International Affairs Department, on May 3 if he was willing to represent the DPP against incumbent Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) of the Kuomintang (KMT), a source familiar with the matter told CNA.
In a social media post on Sunday, Lo, a two-term member of the Legislative Yuan representing New Taipei's Banqiao District, confirmed that he had been asked to take up the longshot challenge against the popular Hou, who is seeking a second term, but that he had now asked the party to rule out his selection.
Lo said the party's failure to officially announce his candidacy with under four months to the election had given him insufficient time to prepare an effective campaign.
The legislator added that "time was running out" for the DPP to mount a productive challenge in the city of 4 million, particularly since previous party candidates were given at least six months from their official selection to canvas support across New Taipei's 29 districts.
"As precious time has been wasted with less than four months until the election day, there is no time for the New Taipei citizens to recognize my sincerity and effort, and that makes me unqualified to be a mayoral candidate," he said.
Despite officially selecting candidates for a number of other city and county elections, the DPP was rumored to be considering its options in New Taipei, with former Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an (潘孟安), and Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) among the names on the party's long list, according to a party source.
The DPP has yet to publicly respond to Lo's withdrawal.
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