Wed, Sep 22, 2004 - Page 2 News List

DPP's legislator-at-large nominee list announced

POLITICAL DECISIONS The Democratic Progressive Party said that it had tried to demonstrate its desire to include more women and minorities in politics

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday formally announced its list of candidates for legislator-at-large posts. The nominations feature a substantial increase in the number of women and guarantees the participation of minority groups in the political process.

Having held five meetings on the issue of legislator-at-large nominations over the past two months, the DPP yesterday finalized its decisions after the Central Executive Committee meeting held yesterday, which was under "100 percent of endorsement and responsability" of its chairman, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Among a total of 31 candidates for legislator-at-large nominations, 10 seats were allocated to women. The 17 nominees at the top of the list will be virtually guaranteed legislator-at-large spots, which are allocated according to the proportion of ballots that the party wins in the December legislative elections.

"The DPP's legislator-at-large nominations take into consideration several concerns, and we especially focused on offering opportunities to excellent candidates who are women and to promoting minority groups' political participation," Chen said. "We are confident that such a group, produced with a belief in reform, will be recognized by the majority of voters."

The DPP's nomination list for legislator-at-large posts was categorized into three groups: the political group, which was chosen through a vote by party members and a public opinion survey; the expert and academics group; and the overseas legislator-at-large group, both of which were selected by the party's nomination committee, comprised of eight members, including Chen. The list alternated nominees from the political group and the experts and academics group. The overseas legislators-at-large group included six candidates.

In the experts and academics group, female nominees seized four out of the nine spots that are considered the safest seats. DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) and former chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), were respectively ranked fourth and sixth among the legislators-at-large, which in essence guarantees them legislative seats.

Most of the nominees are not yet DPP members, and they will have to join the party before the elections in accordance with Central Election Committee regulations, Deputy Secretary-General Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) said yesterday.

However, surprisingly enough, legislator-at-large hopeful You Ying-lung (游盈隆), vice president of the Ketagalan Institute, was not nominated by the DPP. You had been considered one of the most promising candidates for a legislator-at-large seat, because he had campaigned for the Hualien County commissioner post on behalf of the DPP last August, although he lost the election to Chinese Naionalist Party (KMT) candidate Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山).

"It is unavoidable that some talented people will be left out in every nomination process," Chung said. "But the DPP will definitely seek these individuals' help and find a niche for them."

But Chung refused to confirm speculation that You will become a member of the Cabinet once it is reshuffled next March.

"The DPP hopes this roster will attract more outstanding women to join in the effort to pursue democracy and progress, and also shows our concern for minorities," Chung added.

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