Mon, Dec 13, 2010 - Page 1 News List

DPP mulls candidate selection tool

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter, with CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) could adopt the mechanism it will be using for the selection of its candidates for the 2012 presidential election as early as next month, pending the outcome of a national party convention.

The version of the nomination bylaws, which are in the process of being drawn up by senior party officials, will be approved at the convention, scheduled for Jan. 22.

Sources within the DPP told the Central News Agency yesterday that the matter would likely be addressed during a regular meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee on Wednesday.

The bylaws will also include regulations on how the DPP’s nominations for legislators and legislators-at-large would be decided prior to the nationwide legislative vote, which is expected to take place late next year.

Bylaws for holding each electoral nomination must be passed by the convention before every poll. During the last presidential and legislative elections, members of the convention settled on selecting candidates through a mixture of public and internal polls.

However, during the special municipality elections on Nov. 27, the convention had passed regulations stipulating that a special task force would be responsible for selecting three of the five party candidates.

The other two, who were incumbents in their municipalities, were mainly decided through popular opinion polls.

The process drew criticism from several senior party heavyweights who called the selection method “undemocratic.”

While it is still unclear how the party expects to tackle both nominations next year, there already are signs that it could be rife with dissenting opinions.

CNA reported that ideas currently being floated by the party include separating the nomination procedures for presidential and legislative candidates, abolishing an internal party vote and using telephone opinion polls to settle legislator-at-large positions.

However, sources in the DPP said the party was still in the information-gathering phase and that it could take some time before it puts forth a proposal.

Both the legislative and presidential polls, currently slated for next year and 2012 respectively, are expected to be important indicators for DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) leadership, which was dealt a blow after the party failed to increase its share of mayoral seats last month.

Senior party officials, a number of whom are expected to step down from their positions in the coming weeks to join the legislative nominations, however, have pointed to the increase in the DPP’s share of the popular vote in the past two years and say they expect the party to make a significant comeback in the next legislative polls after a heavy defeat in January 2008, in which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) won 81 seats against the DPP’s 27.

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