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Mon, Apr 10, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Parties prepare for National Assembly election in May

HEDGING THE BET The DPP and the PFP have started selecting candidates although the Assembly wants to postpone the election

By Jou Ying-Cheng  /  STAFF REPORTER

Despite the National Assembly's resolve to push for the suspension of the next Assembly elections, the main political parties yesterday continued to nominate candidates so that they are prepared in case the election goes ahead anyway.

The DPP, in fact, completed its nominations, while the People First Party (PFP) made further progress towards that end.

The nominations are being put forward as a precaution in the event that the Assembly does not succeed in the goal mandated by the major party caucuses -- namely, marginalizing the Assembly and cancelling all future elections.

That goal was agreed to following a decision in March by the Grand Council of Justices that invalidated two controversial constitutional amendments made by the Assembly last year, one of which extended its own term by more than two years.

The Council's decision in turn mandated the Central Election Commission to order an election for May 6.

In the DPP's nomination process, incumbents were given priority during a six-hour meeting of the party's Central Executive Committee (CEC) yesterday.

"Nearly 99 percent of incumbents who registered for candidacy were nominated," said DPP secretary-general Yu Shyi-kun. "The nomination is not for winning the election, but for the constitutional reform of abolishing the National Assembly," he said. "Therefore the abolishment of the National Assembly and the ceasing of deputies' functions will be the major platform of our candidates."

The CEC made a number of additional resolutions yesterday to ensure the achievement of those stated purposes.

The resolutions state that the party's candidates should advocate the abolishment of the National Assembly, and if elected should struggle for such a goal. In addition, incumbent deputies should be present at the currently proceeding National Assembly session, and vote according to the decision of the party caucus. If this does not happen, the resolution stated, their nomination will be revoked.

"Those who violate these resolutions should be considered expelled from the party," Yu quoted the CEC resolution as saying.

The DPP has nominated 107 constituency candidates. At the top of the list of 61 at-large candidates -- whose election is to be based on a party proportional representation system -- is former party chairman Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文).

During a PFP meeting yesterday, nominations were finalized for constituencies in six cities and counties, for a total of 14 candidates.

Yesterday's meeting was only the first stage of nomination and will be followed by more meetings, said party spokesman Chin Ching-sheng (秦金生). Among the 16 nominated, just 3 people are incumbent National Assembly delegates.

Local media reported yesterday that Hsu Kuo-tai (許國泰), a former legislator and brother of independent presidential candidate Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) in the March 18 election, as well as Chou Liang-tai (周良黛), wife of KMT legislator Wang Tien-ging (王天競), would become the PFP's candidates.

"At the meeting we did not discuss the cases of related constituencies. We do not know about Hsu," he said.

"Wang's wife has enrolled for candidacy, but the case is not yet examined," Chin said.

The National Assembly passed a resolution on Saturday asking the Central Election Committee to put off the impending National Assembly election, which is currently scheduled to take place on May 6.

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