Former Taiwan vice-president's son secures nomination to run for Taipei mayor

Mr Sean Lien, son of former Taiwan vice-president Lien Chan, waving to the crowd as he visits the Chin-Nan Temple in Taipei on Feburary 2, 2014. Mr Lien, of the runing Kuomintang (KMT), is expected to run for the Taipei mayor elections at the end of
Mr Sean Lien, son of former Taiwan vice-president Lien Chan, waving to the crowd as he visits the Chin-Nan Temple in Taipei on Feburary 2, 2014. Mr Lien, of the runing Kuomintang (KMT), is expected to run for the Taipei mayor elections at the end of 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (AFP) - Mr Sean Lien, the son of Taiwan's former vice-president Lien Chan, on Saturday won the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party's nomination to run for mayor of Taipei.

The 44-year-old, who was born into one of the island's richest political families, has promised to donate his mayoral salary to charity if elected in November - following a precedent set by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"I want to thank everybody for giving me this opportunity to represent the KMT in the year-end mayoral election," Mr Sean Lien said after winning the primary earlier on Saturday to secure his nomination. "If I win and become mayor, I will not disappoint Taipei residents and party members who support me. I will remember that my intention to enter politics is to serve all Taipei residents," he said.

The KMT said in a statement that it will support Mr Lien's campaign and called for unity to win the upcoming election.

Mr Lien, who has for years worked in business, said he decided to enter politics after he was shot by a lone gunman at an election rally in 2010 and rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.

His attacker, who later told police he had shot the wrong man, was sentenced to life in prison.

Mr Lien's father Lien Chan became the first KMT leader to visit China in 56 years when he met then President Hu Jintao in 2005 to formally end hostilities with the communists.

The Beijing-sceptic opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has demanded Mr Sean Lien clarify what it claims are cosy ties between his family and Chinese leaders.

The DPP alleges the family has invested in China and cashed-in on Mr Lien Chan's influence following his ice-breaking trip almost a decade ago.

Mr Sean Lien has denied investing in China, and insisted any business activity was "in line with the law".

The DPP has yet to pick its candidate for the mayoral race in Taipei, which is considered a stronghold of the ruling party.

Incumbent mayor Hau Lung-bin of the KMT will leave the post after serving the maximum two terms.

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