Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Chu confirms re-election bid, slams ‘smears’

‘PRINCELING’ TRIO:Mayoral candidate Yu Shyi-kun said New Taipei City’s mayor was part of a group from political families, urging people to vote against them
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) launched his bid for another four-year term yesterday by completing his registration with the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) local chapter, vowing to stay in the race to the end amid speculation that he could abandon the mayor’s office to focus on the 2016 presidential election.

After he completed the registration process, Chu told reporters that his re-election campaign headquarters would be established at an appropriate date, adding that his campaign team would be comprised of people from every sector of society.

The mayor then lamented what he termed an opposition smear campaign against him, saying: “If the so-called Yu Chang (宇昌) case is an example of the worst type of political competition, the opposition should think about the smear campaining they are waging against me, which could be said to be far worse than the Yu Chang case.”

Chu was referring to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) comments on Sunday describing the Yu Chang case — which the KMT used to attack her integrity during the 2011 presidential campaign — as “the worst example of how a ruling party sacrificed a strategically important sector for political gains.”

The KMT accused Tsai of corruption and manipulating investments by the National Development Fund in TaiMed when she was vice premier in 2007, leading to a series of investigations by the Control Yuan and the judiciary, but Tsai was cleared of any wrongdoing.

In an interview published yesterday by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), Chu’s father-in-law, former Taiwan Provincial Assembly Kao Yu-jen (高育仁), denied any wrongdoing on his, his son’s and the Kao family’s behalf regarding several investment cases that they have been linked to and which the opposition say constitute a conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, the DPP’s New Taipei City mayoral candidate, former premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫?), described the trio of Chu, KMT Taoyuan County Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) and KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) as a group of “princelings” from powerful political families, urging voters to use their ballots to quash hereditary politics.

“The situation is clear: The year-end elections in northern Taiwan will be a battle between the princelings and a group of ordinary citizens, like myself, the DPP Taoyuan County commissioner candidate Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) and independent Taipei contender Ko Wen-je (柯文哲),” Yu said.

Former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Lien’s father is former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), while Wu’s father is former KMT chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄).

John Wu, Wu Po-hsiung and John Wu’s grandfather, Wu Hung-lin (吳鴻麟), all served as Taoyuan County commissioners.