Sat, Jan 20, 2001 - Page 1 News List

Registration of possible DPP lawmakers ends

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lo Wen-chia -- who is resigning from his post as the vice chairman of the Council for Cultural Affairs in order to run in legislative elections at the end of the year -- registered for the DPP at the party's headquarters in Taipei .

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

The ruling DPP yesterday closed its registration for prospective legislative candidates. It aims to nominate 80 candidates out of 146 registered hopefuls for the year-end legislative election.

A total of 117 legislative candidates, including 31 nominees registered for legislators at large (不分區立委) and six nominees for overseas representatives, will be nominated with the goal of gaining a majority in the legislature.

DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) had previously claimed that if 113 seats could be won, the DPP would then occupy half of the legislative seats. Director of the DPP's survey center, Chen Chun-lin (陳俊麟), however, said yesterday that the controversy over the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would have a negative impact on the DPP's election performance. He said it was therefore still too early to tell how many seats the DPP would win.

"But there should be no problem for the DPP to hold onto its current 67 seats," Chen added.

Endorsing Chen's views, Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒), editor-in-chief of the Contemporary Monthly (當代雜誌), moreover, said that he was optimistic about a DPP victory in the legislative and county commissioners and mayoral elections. But he said that the DPP would still face "a crucial test" since its primary list of candidates showed that party factions still had a grip on nominations.

"Anyone who wants to run [for public office] is inevitably supported by certain factions within the party. This does not help the party to increase its votes," Chin said. He therefore added that it would be a tough fight if the DPP were to win half of the 225 legislative seats.

Lee Yong-ping (李永萍), a former DPP member but now director of the People First Party's (PFP) legislative caucus, said that the DPP's prospective candidates were competitive since former members of the National Assembly, such as Liu I-te (劉一德), and incumbent government officials, including Lo Wen-chia (羅文嘉) and Hsiao Bikhim (蕭美琴) would all participate in the election. Most of them have the advantage of enjoying high popularity.

She suggested, however, that the election would be a strategically tricky one for DPP candidates.

"To avoid being connected with the DPP government's failures, candidates will have to show a degree of independence from the party. But at the same time, they will need to ally themselves with the party in order to take advantage of its resources," Lee said.

Lee said she believed that the candidates to be fielded by the DPP had good social images and were well-qualified to be members of the legislature. Still, she was not worried that the DPP would outshine the PFP in terms of election performance since "supporters of the DPP and the PFP rarely overlap."

Meanwhile, the DPP's survey center yesterday completed its public polls for candidates for Tainan and Kaohsiung county commissioners. The poll score accounts for 70 percent of candidates' primary scores.

A total of 28 candidates had previously registered to run for the commissioner and mayoral elections in 14 counties and cities.

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