Thu, Nov 17, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: KMT unveils list of legislators-at-large

BALANCING ACT:The DPP commended the KMT in a rare bit of intra-party bonhomie by saying it was high time that the KMT nominated NGO members

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou, who is also the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, gestures while speaking at a KMT Central -Standing Committee meeting he presided over in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday unveiled its legislators-at-large nomination list, with members from minority groups, experts and advocates in various fields leading the list.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) topped the 34--member list, followed by Children’s Welfare League Foundation executive director Alicia Wang (王育敏), National Chengchi University finance professor Tseng Chu-wei (曾巨威), Taiwan Organization for Disadvantaged Patients secretary-general Yang Yu-hsing (楊玉欣) and Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Chiu Wen-yen (邱文彥).

Experts and advocates in labor affairs, law, medical science and the arts were also among the first 15 nominees, including National Chung Cheng University labor relations professor Wu Yu-jen (吳育仁), lawyer Lee Kuei-min (李貴敏) and National Taiwan College of Performing Arts professor Chen Pi-han (陳碧涵).

Only four incumbent legislators are among the first 15 nominees, which are considered to be on the “safe list,” including Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛), Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍) and Chi Kuo-tung (紀國棟).

Introducing the candidates at a press conference, KMT Culture and Communication Commission Director Chuang Po-chung (莊伯仲) said the nomination list highlighted the KMT’s attention to minorities, as well as labor affairs, cultural, educational and environmental issues, adding that it was making an effort to strike a balance in gender equality and regional influence.

Seventeen of the candidates are male, and 17 are female. About 44 percent of the candidates possess doctorates. Two candidates, Alicia Wang and Yang, are under 40 years old, and about half of the candidates are fresh faces with no political backgrounds.

Former health minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良), who had announced his nomination last week, is the 19th candidate on the list.

Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), deputy executive director of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign, said the list was meant to meet public expectations, and that the KMT sought to reach three goals through the list — respecting expert opinions, cultivating young talent and passing on the KMT’s tradition.

“The public has high expectations for the KMT’s legislators-at-large list. We cannot say the list scores 100 points, but the KMT has put a great deal of effort into seeking talent and reflecting different voices in the legislature,” he said.

However, the presence of Lo and campaign spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) at the press conference sparked concern over the campaign office’s role in KMT affairs.

Lo shrugged off concerns that the campaign office had interfered in compiling the list, saying the office would cooperate with legislator-at-large candidates in campaigns for the presidential and legislative elections.

“The legislators-at-large nominations list is a major election affair. The candidates will be participating in campaign activities. The campaign office’s job includes negotiating campaign affairs for the two elections,” he said.

The KMT’s Central Standing Committee approved the list yesterday and the KMT will give final approval on Saturday.

Commenting on the list, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it recognized the KMT’s nomination of representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGO).

“We would like to commend the KMT’s recognition of NGO representatives and representatives of the underprivileged for the first time. The decision is long -overdue,” DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said.

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