TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former national police chief Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) won the Kuomintang primary to be its candidate in the November 24 New Taipei City mayoral election, the party announced Friday.
Hou, 60, who served as a vice mayor the past few years, defeated Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), who ran the area when it was still known as Taipei County, and New Taipei City Councilor Chin Chieh-shou (金介壽) in primaries based on opinion polls held April 3-5.
The results were announced at a news conference Friday morning and will have to be confirmed by a national leadership meeting next Wednesday, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported.
Details of the survey results were not public out of regard for “harmony and solidarity,” and a spokesman only said that Hou had finished first, Chou second and Chin third. Before the announcement, Chou acknowledged he had lost, while Chin said the results had been leaked beforehand as Hou had received congratulations from city councilors.
Hou headed the National Police Agency (警政署) from 2006 to 2008, under the DPP-led government of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), leading to accusations from his rivals that he had pro-DPP leanings.
All of Taiwan will hold local and regional elections on November 24, and as the KMT’s New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu (朱立倫) is reaching the end of his second and final term, the party had to find a new contender. New Taipei is the only of the country’s six special municipalities still governed by the DPP, while Hou has never run in an election before, the Apple Daily noted.
On the DPP side, no choice has been made yet, but the names of former Premiers Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) and Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), a popular former Taipei County chief, have been frequently mentioned by the media.
In neighboring Taipei City, the KMT is due to conduct similar opinion polls at the end of April, with a result to be announced on May 2.
The capital’s incumbent independent mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is certain to run for re-election, but the DPP has not decided yet whether it will support him, as it did in the 2014 elections, or present a candidate of its own, as some of its members want.