Former Taipei EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡公司) chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) emerged as the winner yesterday in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) primary for the Taipei mayoral election later this year after defeating his main competitor, KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), by a landslide.
The eldest son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) secured more than twice as many ballots as Ting to seal his selection as the ruling party’s candidate for the Taipei mayoral contest.
The winner was decided by a total score comprised of each candidate’s showing in a telephone poll conducted on April 12 and 13 that accounted for 70 percent of the score, and the vote among party members, which made up the remaining 30 percent.
Sean Lien edged Ting in the telephone poll, gaining the support of 39.717 percent of respondents to the lawmaker’s 36.992 percent, while receiving 10,647 of the 15,758 ballots cast in the internal vote, while Ting had 4,765, according to the KMT’s Taipei branch.
A total of 37,860 KMT members were eligible to participate in yesterday’s primary poll, but voter turnout still fell short of 50 percent at 41.622 percent.
The final score put Sean Lien, who sits on the KMT’s Central Committee, first with 48.19 percent, followed by Ting’s 35.018 percent.
KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) and Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平) were also in the race, but Tsai on Thursday bowed out at the last minute and urged his fellow party members to vote for Sean Lien instead.
In announcing his withdrawal, Tsai also disclosed the results of the telephone poll on Thursday, saying that the numbers showed he was too far behind to win, having come third with 17.5 percent, leading only Chung, who had 5.8 percent.
Ting later that day said that Tsai’s poll data were false and misleading, saying that while the candidates were allowed to dispatch observers to “audit and undertake random checks” at polling stations, the results remained confidential, so there was no way that they could get hold of the exact numbers.
Accusing Tsai of having been cooperating with the eventual winner’s camp all along by playing the role of a “foil” to Sean Lien’s “nice guy,” Ting said Tsai had been playing an unfair game from the beginning of the selection process.
After yesterday’s results were announced, Ting said that despite his defeat, he would put all his efforts toward supporting Sean Lien in the upcoming election.
Although the voting is meant to be confidential, the media accidentally saw President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) ballot yesterday.
The indiscretion occurred when the president, who is also the party’s chairman, was photographed holding a ballot that, despite being folded, showed a red circle stamped on the No. 3 candidate, Ting.