By Adam Tyrsett Kuo ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Keelung Municipal Council Speaker Huang Ching-tai (黃景泰) said yesterday that he will continue to run in the Keelung mayoral race, despite losing the Kuomintang’s (KMT) nomination. Huang said that he will collect 50,000 signatures by next Friday to solidify his bid. On Wednesday, the ruling party resolved to cancel out its resolution to nominate Huang, following the speaker’s involvement in an ongoing investigation over corruption allegations. Huang was accused of receiving bribes from a construction company and pressuring officials on the firm’s behalf. Prosecutors made three attempts at detaining Huang, but the speaker was released on bail by the district court. The ruling party has yet to name a replacement. Accompanied by his wife and his lawyer, Huang held a press conference at Chingan Temple (慶安宮) in the Northern Taiwan port city, announcing his intention to stay in the mayoral race. Huang said that he has served the public for two decades and that his supporters outnumber the required threshold for election. Although saying that the KMT had violated party regulations in its decision to revoke his nomination, Huang said that he will always be a good friend to the Kuomintang, maintaining that the corruption allegations are a part of an attempt at sabotaging his political career. Referring to the KMT’s candidates for the Miaoli and Taitung magisterial elections, Huang accused the KMT of having double standards. In response to questions about the KMT fielding other candidates in Keelung, Huang said that he respects all friends who are concerned about the development of the port city. The eyes of Keelung citizens are wide open, and they will support a candidate that is willing to make sacrifices for the city, Huang said. The speaker also thanked his wife and children for their support.
KMT Response Meanwhile, the ruling party said that since its decision does not affect Huang’s party rights or membership status, adding that the decision itself is not a statement on Huang’s innocence. The KMT added that no disciplinary measures were brought against the speaker. The decision made the Central Standing Committee was in accordance with party regulations; furthermore, there is precedence, KMT spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said. When asked, Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said that it would be very hard for him to comment on the case, since he does not know about the particulars of how the Central Standing Committee came to its decision.