Chu says will com­plete full term of may­or­ship

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Kuom­intang ( KMT) chair­man and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu ( ) re­it­er­ated that he would serve out the re­main­der of his may­oral term yes­ter­day, im­ply­ing that he would not run in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Chu was re­spond­ing to ques­tions from New Taipei City coun­cilors rep­re­sent­ing the Demo­cratic Pro- gres­sive Party (DPP).

Dur­ing ques­tion­ing, DPP coun­cilors de­manded that the mayor state his in­ten­tions re­gard­ing a po­ten­tial 2016 pres­i­den­tial run. Chu said that af­ter he was re-elected as New Taipei mayor, he made a prom­ise to fin­ish his term of four years. While cam­paign­ing for the KMT chair­man­ship, Chu posted on his Face­book page on Dec. 11, 2014: “I am thank­ful that the cit­i­zens of New Taipei have given me an­other chance which I will cher­ish. In the next four years I will com­plete a good term and will not seek the of­fice of pres­i­dent in 2016.”

Chu added that his po­si­tion of be­ing the chair­man of a po­lit­i­cal party and hold­ing the post of a spe­cial mu­nic­i­pal­ity was not a first, cit­ing the ex­am­ples of for­mer Kaoh­si­ung Mayor Frank Hsieh (

), cur­rent Kaoh­si­ung Mayor and for­mer Chair­woman of the DPP Chen Chu ( ), and for­mer Taipei Mayor and KMT Chair­man Ma Ying-jeou.

The KMT has yet to an­nounce its can­di­date for the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Aside from Chu, party heavy­weights in­clude Leg­isla­tive Speaker Wang Jin-pyng ( ) and Vice Pres­i­dent Wu Den-yih (

), though they have also cho­sen not to dis­close their elec­toral am­bi­tions, if any. Mem­bers of the KMT’s leg­isla­tive cau­cus led by Leg­is­la­tor Wu Yu-sheng ( ) have re­cently pe­ti­tioned Chu to run, by­pass­ing the party pri­mary. Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) hinted at a pos­si­ble run for the of­fice last week.

Chu de­nied ru­mors cir­cu­lated early in March by Wang that he would not seek the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. He has also in­di­cated that the KMT usu­ally makes it de­ci­sion on pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nees dur­ing the pe­riod from April to June.

Proper Di­vi­sion of Public and

Pri­vate Ex­penses

Dur­ing the city coun­cil meet­ing, Chu was ac­cused by mem­bers of the DPP of con­duct­ing his trip abroad with no trans­parency. Chu replied that on his trip to Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong ear­lier this month, once his itin­er­ary moved away from of­fi­cial busi­ness, he used funds from his per­sonal fi­nances.

When asked by DPP coun­cilors re­gard­ing his meet­ing with Hong Kong Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun ying (

), Chu replied that as Le­ung’s guest, “he hadn’t specif­i­cally made an ap­point­ment to see me. There were no po­lit­i­cal considerations or any­thing spe­cial (about it).”

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