TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Legislator Tsai Pi-ru (蔡壁如) of the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) said on Sunday (June 7) that she will not run for the mayorship of Kaohsiung, which was recently vacated after Saturday's historic recall vote to remove incumbent Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Kuomintang (KMT).
Tsai expressed no intention of running for the executive position in the harbor city in southern Taiwan, dismissing rumors that her decision to change her domicile to Kaohsiung in March was a prelude to her participation in the expected by-election. A confidant of Taipei Mayor and TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), Tsai was elected as an at-large legislator in the January elections.
The new party, established in August of 2019, has sought to gain experience and solicit support from grassroots voters via by-elections at the local level, according to Tsai. While she is not entering the race, the TPP is working on fielding a candidate for the mayoral by-election due within three months, CNA quoted her as saying.
Former Kaohsiung Magistrate Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) revealed on Saturday that he turned down a request by Tsai to visit him, saying he had no interest in such meetings should they concern the mayoral contest, wrote Newtalk. Yang, once a staunch supporter of Han who served as a key member of his cross-strait task force when he assumed office in 2018, grew disenchanted with Han and quit the KMT in 2019.
A guessing game has begun regarding those likely to throw their hats into the ring. Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), defeated by Han in the 2018 local elections, is widely believed to be planning a run for Kaohsiung mayor on behalf of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).