KMT senior favors ex-deputy mayor for Kaohsiung post

The China Post staff

Former Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Huang Chun-ying is best suited to run for mayor of Taiwan’s second largest city on the Kuomintang (KMT) ticket, a high-ranking KMT politician said yesterday. According to KMT executive secretary Lin Feng-cheng any potential mayoral candidate would have to be judged against four different requirements. Lin said that anyone running against incumbent Frank Hsieh would need to have few political enemies and be relatively immune to political attacks. Likewise, an ideal candidate would need to have strong support from Kaohsiung’s various political factions and be able to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, Lin said. At present three KMT politicians are vying to be nominated for the race. But according to Pan Chia-sen, chairman of the KMT’s Kaohsiung office, Huang, who served as deputy mayor under Wu Den-yih from 1995 until 1998, is the best suited of the three. Pan said Huang hadn’t made any political enemies while serving under former mayor Wu Den-yih’s between 1995 and 1998.

The fact that Huang, who is currently the vice president of I-Shou University, has never run in an election before also means that he brings less political baggage with him, Pan said. Pan went on to point out that Huang enjoys strong grassroots support even in the absence of any active campaigning on his part in recent months. The comments drew mixed reaction from other candidates. Kaohsiung city councilor Huang Chi-chuan dismissed Lin’s four requirements as being tailor-made for Huang, saying that at best only the fourth requirement made any sense. Instead of creating a set of requirements, Huang suggested that voters from the People First Party (PFP) be allowed to decide which candidate got the nod. On this view, the PFP, which together with the KMT together make up the “pan-blue alliance” that is pitted against the ruling party and its “pan-green alliance”, would choose the candidate most acceptable to them to run for mayor of Kaohsiung. Many political analysts believe that cooperation among “pan blue alliance” voters in the upcoming elections would send enough votes in the way of a challenger to defeat the ruling party incumbent. Former legislator Yao Kao-chiao, another potential candidate, said that he had not been informed of a final decision by KMT officials. However, he said that he would be more than willing share his opinions with Pan should they have a chance to meet face-to-face.