Opposition chairwoman unlikely to run for Taipei County magistrate

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen is unlikely to throw her hat in next year’s Taipei County magistrate election, a ranking party official said yesterday. DPP Deputy Secretary General Hung Yao-fu said the party has yet to assess individual candidates for next year’s elections, but it is unlikely that Tsai will be among them. Hung was making the remarks in the wake of media reports that DPP supporters are trying to persuade Tsai to enter the race in Taipei County.

The reports come on the heels of a corruption scandal that has embarrassed Taipei County Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei of the ruling Kuomintang. Chou has admitted that his close aide Mai An-huai’s alleged involvement in corruption would have an impact on his reelection campaign. Hung said the main opposition party’s election strategy panel will meet next week to work out a campaign schedule for next year’s races.

The government chiefs of all major cities and counties, except Taipei and Kaohsiung cities, will be reelected next year.

Hung said the party hopes to complete the nomination process by the end of this year. Meanwhile, Tsai arrived in Los Angeles Friday afternoon on the third leg of her two-week U.S. visit, according to the Central News Agency.

Tsai was greeted by Cheng Hsi-kun, director of the DPP West Chapter in the United States, and Nieco Tsai, committee director of the chapter.

Later the same evening, Tsai accompanied Lin Cheng-wei, director of the DPP’s Department of International Affairs, in attending a party fund-raiser held in her honor, during which she delivered a speech.

According to Lin, Tsai said she had attended several fund-raising dinners during her U.S. visit, providing her with the opportunity to explain the DPP’s new direction under her leadership to its supporters in the United States. She also had the chance to listen to the supporters’ expectations concerning the party’s future,Lin was cited by CNA as saying.

Tsai flew into Los Angeles from Washington, D.C., where she had met with U.S. officials and representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties. She had also visited Capitol Hill and spoke at conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation. The DPP chairwoman is scheduled to head to San Jose on Sunday to meet with party members based in western California before heading back to Taiwan on Tuesday.