New Taipei mayoral candidates tout political platforms

Taipei, The New Taipei mayoral candidates from the the Kuomintang (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) shared the same stage for the first platform presentation Monday, during which they promoted their respective visions for the city ahead of the Nov. 24 local government elections.

Speaking at the political platform presentation organized by the Central Election Commission, Hou You-yi (???) from the KMT, a police officer-turned politician who is the incumbent deputy mayor, said he has dedicated himself to building a better New Taipei since assuming the post in 2011.

If elected, Hou said he will continue working toward that goal and build on the foundation already established.

Vowing to complete the city's 209.81-kilometer metro system that will ultimately connect 174 stations, the KMT candidate said he will work to improve the livelihoods of New Taipei residents by renewing flood defenses, advancing social welfare programs and strengthening social order.

Turning to energy policy, Hou pledged that his administration will not issue any licenses for the use of coal and called on his rival, former Premier Su Tseng-chang (???), to do the same.

The central government's decision to halt the planned expansion of Shen'ao power plant underscored the power of the people to reject power generation that damages nature and public health, Hou said.

Instead he touted an energy policy that promotes building power plants with public participation focused on generating, storing and saving electricity, in addition to developing green energy.

For his part, Su noted that he has publicly opposed the use of nuclear power for 30 years and blamed the KMT for building the first, second and fourth nuclear plants in New Taipei and the third in Pingtung, costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars.

Su criticized Hou for making energy policy a campaign issue, maintaining that decisions should be determined by professional judgment and stressing that he "will not tolerate any pollution."

Su praised New Taipei as enjoying the natural environment, geographic conditions and talent pool needed to become a competitive metropolis.

He promised to develop more industrial zones, attract more investment and end flooding in New Taipei, while also creating better living standards and more job opportunities for its residents, as well as building 52,000 public house units in six years.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel