Sun, Sep 26, 2004 - Page 3 News List

KMT finalizes selection of legislative poll candidates

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) elected seven new members to its Central Standing Committee yesterday and finalized its list of legislator-at-large candidates at yesterday's National Party Congress.

The candidates for the legislator-at-large seats were confirmed despite previous disagreements in the party rank and file.

The KMT's legislator-at-large nominations have produced grumbles within the party, as certain hopefuls discovered in recent days that they were not chosen to be nominated, or that they had not entered the so-called "safe 14" spots.

The number of legislator-at-large seats each party will delegate depends on the percentage of votes allocated to the party nationwide in the Dec. 11 legislative elections. As a result, in addition to having regionally elected candidates, each party announces legislator-at-large candidates in order of preference prior to the elections. This year, the KMT and its ally the New Party estimate that at least 14 of their hand-picked at-large candidates are guaranteed seats in the legislature.

All at-large candidates were approved by a large majority of the KMT's 217 Central committee members. The Central committee also confirmed the nomination of the party's proposed five overseas legislative seats. New members of the party's Central Standing Committee were also elected yesterday, with seven new members entering the party's top decision making body.

The new faces include Aborigine Shih Yuan-na (石元娜), National Taiwan University professor Ger Yeong-kuang (葛永光), Lieutenant General Hu Tsai-kuei (胡木貴), labor activist Yao Chiang-lin (姚江臨), Taipei City Councilor Lin Yi-hua (林奕華), the National Policy Foundation's Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲), former chairperson of the Council of Sports Affairs, and Chiang Fang Chih-yi (蔣方智怡). Chiang is the daughter-in-law of late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).

The elections were held at the National Party Congress yesterday at the KMT headquarters in Taipei. Reflecting the conference's focus on the Dec. 11 legislative elections, the conference began with all nominated legislative candidates standing up on stage arranged to form a mini KMT party flag on a map of Taiwan to signal the party's hopeful dominance in the year-end elections.

Over 500 people attended the conference, with legislator-at-large and Central Standing Committee hopefuls and their supporters working to garner support from party peers.

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