Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday expressed his thanks to Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) for his public endorsement of Chen’s medical parole request and applauded Hau for his courage and vision in raising the issue.... "the character and manners of a national leader." Some quid pro quo there from the President's son? Hau looked to be making a move for the 2016 presidential candidacy with the suggestion, courting pan-Green votes.
Chen’s son, Chen Chi-chung (陳致中), yesterday visited his father in prison and said the former president praised Hau for “possessing the character and manners of a national leader” by proposing to grant him medical parole.
This week, after the typhoon blasted the south, Hau made another seemingly Presidential move to court southern voters. Local news reported (China Times) that Hau had offered residents of Tawu township and Green Island in Taitung money to rebuild after the disaster, later increasing the offer to include Hengchun, Checheng, and other townships in Pingtung. In addition to spending $3000-5000 per household in the affected townships, Taipei city government had also sent $3000 each to 200 households in Hualien. The funds came from emergency funds held by the Taipei government. A spokesman denied that this outpouring came with the 2016 election in mind, and said that it would be offered to anyplace in Taiwan in similar trouble.
Looking at 2016? Hau is a scion of a powerful KMT figure: his father was the regressive right-winger Hau Pei-tsun, an architect and maintainer of Taiwan's notorious security state in the martial law era, and a longtime holdout against democratization. Hau himself served in the first Chen Shui-bian administration, and of course Taipei city mayor has long been considered the springboard to the presidency, since Chen, Ma, and Lee all held that position. Keep your eyes on the prize: the race for the 2016 KMT candidacy is wide open.
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