Mon, Apr 02, 2001 - Page 1 News List

DPP selects election candidates

PRIMARIES The party's New Tide and Justice Alliance factions were the big winners in yesterday's vote, while some government officials, dubbed the president's `boy scouts,' also won the right to contest in the fall

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP members cast their ballots at a polling station in Taipei during yesterday's primary, which was part of the party's nomination process for the legislative and local government elections at the end of this year.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

The DPP held its primary elections yesterday, selecting 122 legislative candidates -- including 31 seats for lawmakers at large -- and 15 candidates for city mayors and county commissioners, completing the party's primary for the year-end elections.

Over 70 percent of the party's 190,000 eligible voters came out to the polls yesterday.

Nominations were based on public telephone polls, which accounted for 70 percent of each candidate's total score, and party members' votes, which accounted for the remaining 30 percent.

The party's New Tide faction (新潮流系) -- led by secretaries-general of the Cabinet and the party Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) and Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), and Justice Alliance faction (正義連線) -- led by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), were the big winners, outshining other party factions, including the Welfare State faction (福利國連線) -- led by DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and New Era Institute faction (新世紀國會辦公室) -- led by former DPP Chairman Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏).

The New Tide faction garnered six nominees for the mayoral and county commissioners' elections. Lee Chin-yung (李進勇), mayor of Keelung City, is the only party member who holds a local government seat who will represent the party to seek a second term in office.

Government officials including the president's translator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and former vice chairman of the council of cultural affairs Lo Wen-chia (羅文嘉), dubbed the president's "boy scouts" because of their young age, also claimed victory in winning their legislative candidacies.

Hsiao was ranked first among those running for the overseas legislator-at-large seats, guaranteeing her a seat in the legislature, while Lo outnumbered other primary legislative candidates in the constituency of northern Taipei City.

Former vice chairman of the Cabinet's research, development and evaluation commission You Ying-lung (游盈隆), however, surprisingly lost his legislative candidacy to Lu Bo-chi (盧博基), who is currently a Hualien County councilor.

The DPP's primary has been enshrouded in talk of vote selling and other corrupt practices, which have tainted the party's otherwise clean image.

Frank Hsieh praised the results late last night, saying they showed that those who used vote buying were unable to get elected. He also said that the elections had further solidified the DPP's efforts to make its nominations transparent and fair.

"These are important markers for the democratization of party politics," Hsieh said.

Still, yesterday's voting encountered several incidents of cheating.

One female DPP member named Hsu Chen Hua-chih (許陳花枝) was found in Kaohsiung City to have cast her vote twice, with two conflicting birth dates.

The party's Kaohsiung City Chapter suspected that either two women had the same name or that Hsu had registered twice as a party member.

The chapter promised to conduct a thorough investigation into the case to see if there was voting misconduct or negligence.

A party member in Tainan City had his membership revoked after it was found that the individual held a fake party membership and had registered twice.

Voting practices which occurred at many polling stations nationwide also remain as a further challenge to the party's election system.

It was typical at some polling stations to see one sightseeing bus after another haul in groups of party members to cast their ballots.

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