Sun, May 23, 2004 - Page 2 News List

DPP primary set for today

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is holding its primary for December's legislative elections today, and after party members have voted for their favorite candidates, the DPP will hold a nationwide poll to complete its nominations.

Primaries for the regional legislators and the legislators-at-large are kicking off at the same time, and potential candidates were campaigning hard yesterday.

There are also a few notable changes: seven legislators including Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) and Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) have become Cabinet members.

High-profile legislator-at-large Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) has announced her intention to run for a regional seat in Taipei City, while DPP caucus director-general Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), originally a regional legislator from Nantou County, has decided to pursue a legislator-at-large seat.

Hsiao's participation earlier introduced conflict with incumbent Lin Chung-mo (林重謨), a controversial figure who runs in the same constituency as Hsiao. But as Luo and legislator Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰), also from the same constituency, have been promoted to the Cabinet, Lin's situation has changed for the better.

Yesterday Tsai said the DPP primary mechanism needs further amendment.

"There are still many rumors about bribery in the primary," Tsai said.

The DPP party congress's decision in April to change the nomination rules for the legislators-at-large to eradicate family politics and "black gold" influences shook up some quarters, although some "gold cows" are still bidding for nominations.

According to party regulations for the legislators-at-large nominations, party-member votes and the poll each account for 50 percent of the weighting in choosing candidates. For the regional legislators, the party member votes will account for 70 percent and poll 30 percent in deciding who gets nominated.

While the DPP has started its nomination process, the pan-blue camp's campaign activity has been stalled by the two allied parties' plans to merge.

Earlier this week, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said that the two pan-blue parties would conduct their nominations separately, but that the camp would register its candidates under the newly-merged party with the Central Election Committee.

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