Mon, Apr 12, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Nomination procedure causes stir

DPP New rules on the selection of candidates for legislator-at-large seats have annoyed some in the party's old guard

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) new nomination regulations for legislators-at-large for the upcoming legislative election are shaking up the party factions' original nomination lists.

The DPP held a party congress two days ago and the party passed a new nomination regulation for legislators-at-large.

The factions originally accepted registrations for three categories -- experts, politicians and minorities -- but now they have to reshuffle after the categories were reduced to two -- politicians and experts -- with each group holding 50 percent of the seats.

Appointees for the politician category are to be be decided on by a vote of party members and a poll, each having a 50-percent weighting, while the expert group will be nominated entirely by a seven to nine-person nomination committee, whose members will be appointed by the party's chairman, Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), and approved by the Central Executive Committee. The finalized expert nomination list then will also need to be approved by the Central Executive Committee.

A previous requirement that legislators-at-large served no more than two terms was, however, cancelled.

"We will issue an announcement next Monday to ask members who are interested in registering to run for the politician group to re-register," Welfare State Alliance convener and legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) said after the congress.

"We will start over again with our nominations. We are planning to recommend two to three nominees to run for legislators-at-large, including one female," New Tide convener and legislator Tuan Yi-kan (段宜康) said.

Justice Alliance secretary-general and Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) also said his faction would also call for re-registration.

"The new regulations have allowed us to come up with an excellent list of candidates, which will become an asset to the party, unlike before, when sometimes the public felt the DPP's nominees for legislators-at-large were lackluster," Tsai said.

Tsai's criticism was apparently targeted at the DPP's emerging family politics, and the new regulations are aimed at eradicating this trait from the party.

"Very often when a husband finished his two terms as legislator-at-large, his wife then would take over, or perhaps a son would take over his father's seat," Tsai said, adding that this created an unfavorable impression with voters that nepotism counted for more than talent.

Legislator-at-large Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏), a member of the party's old guard, put it bluntly to the party congress that the new regulations seemed to be designed to restrict those political families involved in the 1979 Kaohsiung Incident (美麗島事件).

Chang's wife Hsu Jung-shu (許榮淑), who is also a legislator-at-large, also voiced her displeasure after the new regulations were passed. Initially Chang and Hsu planned to get their son to run in the election.

"My son has prepared for a year now to build up his reputation, but now he may not be able to run," Hsu said.

But the new regulations also lift the two-term restriction, so Hsu is eligible to stand again, and she said that her family would reconsider the whole situation.

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