Taipei, April 6 (CNA) The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) kicked off its process Tuesday for picking candidates to run for the mayoral posts in Taiwan's five special municipalities in elections scheduled to take place at the end of this year.
In selecting its candidates for the elections, the party is adopting a "coordination and recruitment" mechanism with the results of public opinion polls serving as an important reference.
The five municipality elections in Taipei City and four others to be created by upgrading Taipei County to Xinbei City, and merging the cities and counties of Taichung, the cities and counties of Tainan and the cities and counties of Kaohsiung, are regarded as a bellwether for the 2012 presidential election.
A KMT task force in charge of election affairs published that same day the name list of its members who have made known their intentions to vie for the party nominations.
The list includes incumbent Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin and Taipei City Councilor Yang Shih-chiu (for Taipei mayor) ; incumbent Taichung Mayor Jason Hu and legislators Liu Chuan-chung and Chi Kuo-tung (for Taichung mayor) ; former lawmakers Lee Chuan-chiao and Kuo Tien-Tsai and incumbent Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (for Tainan mayor) ; and legislators Huang Chao-shun, Ho Tsai-feng, Lin Yi-shih and Chang Hsien-yao, former lawmaker Su Ying-kui and incumbent Presidential Vice Secretary-General Lai Feng-wei (for Kaohsiung mayor).
Of particular note is that incumbent Vice Premier Eric Lilun Chu is the only party member seeking to run for Xinbei mayor.
KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin said the party is likely to directly nominate Chu as candidate for Xinbei, as he is unchallenged.
As for the other municipalities, a coordination process among the aspirants will have to take place before party candidates can be produced based on the results of public surveys, Su added.
(By Lee Chu-hua and Bear Lee)