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Sun, Dec 02, 2001 - Page 20 News List

Celebrities are among election victors

COLORFUL CANDIDATES Legislative election winners weren't limited to veteran politicians. Sports stars, celebrities and crooks also tried their hand in politics

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Among the more unusual personalities celebrating legislative election victories yesterday were a TV celebrity, an award-winning movie actress, a basketball star and a convict.

Former DPP spokeswoman turned TV host, Sisy Chen (陳文茜), was elected to represent Taipei City's southern constituency as an independent, with 40,108 votes. Chen ran a somewhat controversial campaign, in part because she continued to host her own TV show throughout the campaign.

She adopted what she described as an "alternative campaign strategy," involving no billboards or campaign rallies, but small events at which she generated publicity with performances of songs and entertainment routines in department stores and public parks.

Another media celebrity elected as an independent legislator is film star and former singer, May Chin (金素梅). Chin won 8,909 votes, gaining a legislative seat as an Aboriginal representative.

Chin is best-known for her performance in The Wedding Banquet, directed by Oscar-winning Taiwanese director, Ang Lee (李安).

The PFP's Cheng Chih-long (鄭志龍), a professional basketball player who has played for the national team, was elected a legislator for Taipei County. Despite a complete lack of previous experience in the political arena, Cheng received the third-highest number of votes in the county's poll, with 45,447.

Among the more unsavory winners was convicted felon Yen Ching-piao (顏清標) who was elected as an independent legislator with 34,003 votes in Taichung County.

A former Taichung County Council speaker and an influential member of a local political faction in the county, Yen was convicted in August of attempted murder and corruption and denied bail by the Taiwan High Court. His campaign was conducted by his son, Yen Kuan-heng (顏寬恆).

Unorthodox winners

* Sisy Chen, a former DPP spokeswoman turned TV host, took the Taipei City II constituency.

* Film star and former singer May Chin won as an Aboriginal representative.

* Cheng-Chih Long emerged victorious as a PFP legislator for Taipei County

* Yen Ching-piao, a convicted criminal, won with 34,003 votes in Taichung County.


Yen remains in prison and his case is on appeal.

Another well-known gangland figure, Hsiao Teng-shih (蕭登獅), however, lost his bid for a legislative seat in Chiayi City.

Hsiao, a former Chiayi City Farmers' Association chairman, was sentenced to three years in prison in July for illegally manipulating a Taiwan Provincial Farmers' Association election.

Also among the well-known defeated was sitting legislator Shih Ming-te (施明德) who failed to secure a legislative seat in Taipei City's southern constituency.

Shih, a former DPP chairman, had campaigned with Sisy Chen using an alternative campaign strategy, forsaking billboards and campaign rallies and often appearing with Chen at her informal performances.

Ko Szu-hai (柯賜海), who is well known for a series of high-profile and off-beat campaigns ostensibly on behalf of stray dogs, including taking groups of the strays with him to protest at government offices and bombarding the phone lines of businesses with repeating computerized telephone calls also failed to win a seat in Taipei South.

Ko, who maintains hundreds of stray dogs, has often been seen campaigning with a van full of the animals.

Actress Wang Hsiao-chan (王筱嬋), whose fame was enhanced by her affair with John Chang (章孝嚴) -- then KMT secretary-general -- two years ago, won merely 390 votes in her bid as an independent in Taipei South, where Chang himself won a seat with with 46,263 votes

Wang had followed Chang throughout his campaign in order to attack him.

Two gay candidates, James Jan (詹銘洲) and Webster Chen (陳文彥), who sought to take the fight for homosexual rights into the national political arena, lost their bid for Kaohsiung City and Taipei City's northern district respectively.

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