SEEKING FUNDING: The mayors of Taichung and Kaohsiung said that they had high hopes for the incoming premier, but William Lai’s promises needed honoring
By Ho Yu-hau and Huang Chien-hao / Staff reporters
The mayors of the nation’s six special municipalities have responded positively to premier-to-be Su Tseng-chang （蘇貞昌） and his team.
New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi （侯友宜）, who beat Su in last year’s New Taipei City mayoral election, on Friday said that it was as if fate wanted to link him and Su, a former commissioner of what was then Taipei County.
“It is good to be able to pick up where we left off,” said Hou, a Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） member.
Su knows the development needs of New Taipei City and the needs of its residents “like the back of his hand,” Hou said, adding that the excellent platform Su put forward during his campaign was a valuable reference for him that would hopefully benefit residents.
“Su is a safe bet. He is a seasoned politician,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je （柯文哲）, an independent, said in response to requests for comment.
Asked about Su’s “comeback” as premier after his loss in New Taipei City, Ko said that one setback should not prevent someone from taking up a task.
“That would not make sense,” he said.
Asked how he expected Su to perform in his second stint as premier, Ko said: “Let’s wait until after he is inaugurated,” adding that it would be “what he does, not what he says” that counts.
Taoyan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan （鄭文燦） of the Democratic Progressive Party, who was Government Information Office director when Su was previously premier, described his former boss as “a pragmatic man of integrity.”
Su has the decisiveness required of a top official, as well as the vision necessary for policymaking to ensure sustainable development, Cheng said.
Su has the qualities necessary to translate his governance into something people can see and feel, which would bring the government in sync with public opinion, Cheng said, adding that he believes Su’s performance would top that of outgoing Premier William Lai （賴清德）.
“I have high expectations of Su and hope he has many days of glory ahead of him,” said Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che （黃偉哲）, a Democratic Progressive Party member.
Judging by Su’s boldness and ability to get things done when he was previously premier, he would move the nation forward “full throttle,” Huang said.
Su is from the south and knows the development gap between northern and southern Taiwan well, as well as each city’s and county’s features, Huang said, adding that he hopes Su would place an emphasis on Tainan’s development.
Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen （盧秀燕） of the KMT said he had two expectations for Su: Focus on the economy rather than politicking and swiftly allocate the funds Lai promised for Taichung’s development.
Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu （韓國瑜） of the KMT said that he has higher expectations for vice premier-designate Chen Chi-mai （陳其邁） — his main campaign rival in the Nov. 24 Kaohsiung mayoral election — than he does for Su.
“Chen is from Kaohsiung, so I believe that he cares deeply about Kaohsiung and would offer it more assistance,” Han said.
Kaohsiung is in desperate need of the Cabinet’s help in terms of development, Han said.
Hopefully, Su would look past partisan politics and fulfill the promises made by Lai, he said.
Additional reporting by Wei Chin-yun, Hung Chung-chin, Huang Chung-shan and Wang Jung-hsiang
Outgoing Premier William Lai, left, shakes hands with premier-designate Su Tseng-chang at the Presidential Office in Taipei on Friday. Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times