The pear market in Dongshih.
Taiwan's political commentators were working overtime today with the dramatic announcement by current New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (Chu Li-luan) that he will run for re-election in the Nov 2014 local elections. He has promised that if elected he would not step down to run in 2016 for President. There had been much speculation that Chu would run in 2016 and many us considered him the KMT's best choice for Presidential candidate.
Why would Chu decide to remain in New Taipei City? He's only 53, so he has a decade in front of him. The year-end elections are starting to look dicier for the KMT and having the KMT firmly in control of the nation's biggest municipality would help them in 2016. There may be some internal KMT pressure as well -- Chu is a mainlander but is not in President/Chairman Ma's circle. I suspect if this is Ma's doing, then we'll see Ma advance the current premier, Jiang Yi-hwa. It may all be vapor -- Chu will run, win, and then step down to run in 2016. As my friend Ben pointed out, he could well lose, and then he'd be free for 2016 anyway.
The KMT field has narrowed to Mayor Hau of Taipei, Veep Wu Den-yi, dark horse Premier Jiang, and perhaps a couple of others. All of them look eminently beatable at the moment, but there's two long years until the 2016 election...
The plot thickens!
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