Taipei--Former Taipei County chief Chou Hsi-wei (???) said for the first time on Monday that he may run for mayor of New Taipei in 2018.
Chou, a three-term legislator before being elected in 2005 to head Taipei County, which became New Taipei in 2010, said "there is such a possibility" when he was interviewed by a local radio station.
Chou, who stepped down in December 2010 after one term because his low approval ratings suggested he would not win re-election, also said Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (???), has asked him about his intention to run in the New Taipei mayoral race.
"There is such a possibility, and it is a road I could take," Chou said.
Asked about his view of Hou Yu-ih (???), an incumbent deputy New Taipei mayor and one of the KMT's potential candidates in the race, Chou said he had "no comment."
"Politicians should talk less and do more," Chou said.
A local report cited sources within the KMT as saying that if Chou and Hou were to vie for the KMT nomination in New Taipei, it could become a "proxy war" between Wu Den-yih and incumbent New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (???), who is in his second term and cannot run for re-election.
Wu and Chu are seen as the KMT's most likely nominees for the next presidential election in early 2020.
The Apple Daily said Chou supported Wu during the KMT chairman's election in May, which Wu won, and the two have formed a kind of alliance.
But reports said Chou may not have much name recognition because he has not held any political offices since stepping down as Taipei County magistrate in late 2010.
In contrast, Hou made his intention to run in the New Taipei race clear early on. Although Chu has not openly endorsed him, he has often asked his deputy to attend events on his behalf and arranged for him to speak on campuses, which has made him popular among young people.
Asked to comment on the idea of "a proxy war," Chu dismissed it as speculation, saying that the KMT is an opposition party and the only thing it should focus on is unity and working hard to solicit support from all citizens.
Chu said Chou is a good friend and a former county head who has made great contributions to the development of New Taipei. With over a year still to go before local elections, it will be up to Chou himself to decide whether he runs or not, Chu said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel