Taipei, Former Premier Su Tseng-chang (???) on Thursday agreed to run for mayor of New Taipei City, at the urging of President Tsai Ing-wen (???), who is also chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), according to a party spokesman.
After a one-hour meeting with Tsai earlier in the day, Su said he had intended to leave the race open to someone younger but decided to step up because Tsai and the DPP election campaign strategy committee had convinced him that he was the best candidate, DPP spokesman Cheng Yun-peng (???) told reporters.
During the meeting, Tsai praised Su's accomplishments as head of the Taipei County government from 1994 to 2004, before it was upgraded to a city, and said his record epitomized the performance of DPP-led local governments, according to Cheng.
Tsai said the New Taipei mayoral race will be the most important battle in the local and municipal elections on Nov. 24 as it could drive the DPP's momentum nationwide, according to Cheng.
Given Su's standing and experience, he is the DPP's best candidate for New Taipei mayor and that is why the party's election campaign strategy committee decided to ask him to run, Tsai said.
She told Su she hoped he would take up the mantle for the sake of New Taipei, the country and the DPP, Cheng said.
In response, Su said he would run for New Taipei mayor if the city, the DPP and Taiwan needed him, according to Cheng.
In a Facebook post later in the day, Su apologized for breaking his earlier promise not to compete in the election, saying that the situation had taken an unpredictable turn.
The process of formalizing Su as the DPP candidate for New Taipei mayor will be completed by April 25, according to Lin Hsi-yao (???), co-convener of the DPP election campaign strategy committee.
According to the latest public opinion survey by Taiwan NextGen Foundation, Su has a 42.6 percent approval rating, slightly ahead of the Kuomintang candidate Hou Yu-ih (???), a former deputy mayor of New Taipei, who is polling at 41.7 percent.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel