Taipei-Cheng Li-wun (???), a former Cabinet spokeswoman and member of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), said Monday that she is seeking to run for Taipei mayor next year to offer the city's residents an alternative to the incumbent mayor.
"Taipei citizens should have a different option. They deserve a better choice," said Cheng, after her announcement the previous day that she intended to seek the KMT's nomination for the Taipei mayoral race.
Cheng said Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (???) has a high approval rating because he is charismatic and is the incumbent but also because he has had no challengers.
"There has been no other choice," she said. "But why is that so in Taipei?"
According to Cheng, Ko won the 2014 mayoral election because Taipei citizens wanted to get rid of the old establishment and were hoping for new initiatives to move the city forward.
The citizens projected their hopes onto Ko, an independent physician-turned-politician, as the KMT candidate Sean Lien (???) fell into the category of the old establishment, Cheng said. The KMT subsequently lost Taipei, one of its traditional strongholds, she noted.
However, Ko has not lived up the citizens' expectations of serving as a positive force, Cheng said, adding that urban development should be focused on the needs of citizens.
If she gains the KMT nomination, Cheng said, she will strive to win the Taipei seat with more than 50 percent of the votes.
Cheng, 48, will be competing against former KMT lawmaker Ting Shou-chung (???) for the party's nomination, as he announced last month that he plans to make his fifth bid since 1994 for the KMT's nomination for the Taipei mayoral election.
Meanwhile, former Presidential Office Deputy Secretary General Lo Chih-chiang (???) is also waiting in the wings, saying that he will seek the KMT's nomination if he gains more than 1 million Facebook followers by the end of the year.
The KMT has said it is not in any rush to start its nomination process before the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) decides whether to support Ko's reelection bid.
The DPP, meanwhile, has said it will not make any nominations before March next year.
Ko won his mayoral seat with the DPP's full support in 2014, but with DPP lawmaker Yao Wen-chih (???) declaring his intention to run next time around, there is some uncertainty over whom the party will support.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel