Ex-Premier Yu to run for New Taipei City mayor

DPP candidate defeated TSU rival by wide margin

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Premier Yu Shyi-kun defeated Taiwan Solidarity Union Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia to become the opposition candidate who will try and unseat New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu.
According to the results of three opinion surveys announced Friday, the Democratic Progressive Party’s Yu won 38.7 percent, while Lin received 18.7 percent of the votes cast Thursday evening.
Both candidates had declared their intention to run for months, but after the DPP used opinion surveys to pick a single opposition candidate in Taipei City, independent surgeon Ko Wen-je, calls for New Taipei City to follow suit became louder.
The DPP and the TSU agreed to respect the outcome of Thursday’s surveys. Lin said he would fully support Yu’s campaign.
On the side of the ruling Kuomintang, Chu only announced his decision to run for re-election last Tuesday. A significant number of commentators had expected him to drop out of the campaign for the November 29 local elections and to focus on a run for the president in 2016 instead.
Chu made statements hinting that if he won re-election, he would stay on as mayor for a full four-year term. Critics suggested that KMT Chairman President Ma Ying-jeou had wanted Chu to stay out of the presidential race. Other potential KMT contenders for 2016 include Vice President Wu Den-yih, Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin and Premier Jiang Yi-huah.
On the opposition DPP side, Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen and her predecessor Su Tseng-chang have both been mentioned as presidential hopefuls.
A recent opinion poll about the New Taipei City mayoral election put support for Chu at 55 percent and for Yu at 22 percent. DPP leaders expressed confidence they could turn the situation around and push Yu, a former two-term magistrate of Yilan County, into office.
The DPP hopes to win at least half of the six mayoral positions in special municipalities. Kaohsiung and Tainan are seen as opposition strongholds, while in Taichung, lawmaker Lin Chia-lung has been running far ahead of incumbent KMT Mayor Jason Hu in opinion polls. Recent surveys in the capital have shown that Ko might defeat KMT candidate Sean Lien despite Taipei City’s reputation as a ruling party bastion.