Wed, Jun 15, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislator-at-large to run for county commissioner

LOCAL LEADERSHIP Tsai Huang-liang left his post, and said he would use his 10-years of political experience to lead the people of Nantou County

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Huang-liang draws a sword after announcing yesterday that he will resign from his legislative seat to run for Nantou County commissioner. He is flanked by DPP legislative caucus whip Jao Yung-ching, right, and his successor as legislator-at-large, Hsu Jung-shu, left.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator-at-large, Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), announced yesterday he was resigning from his post to run for Nantou County commissioner.

His vacancy will be replaced by former DPP legislator Hsu Jung-shu (許榮淑).

"I'm sure you guys will miss me," Tsai told reporters after a press conference organized to bid farewell to the 45-year-old.

Accepting a sword offered by Hsu and a "diploma" presented by DPP caucus whip Lai Ching-te (賴清德), Tsai said that he will use the sword to hack through political thickets to win in the year-end election, and use the "diploma" he "earned" during his 10-year stint as lawmaker to lead Nantou County.

Tsai's resignation followed party rules, which require lawmakers to give up their post should they run as candidates in regional elections. His resignation came before the DPP's Central Standing Committee confirmed its nominees for the 16 electoral districts yesterday afternoon.

In addition to Tsai, other candidates for the year-end elections include former minister of justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南), who is running for the Ilan County commissionership, a position he has held in the past. Also, Hsinchu City Councilor Cheng Kwai-yuan (鄭貴元) is running for mayor of that city.

In Yunlin County, former DPP legislator Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) is running for the commissionership, and former DPP vice chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) will campaign for the commissionership in Taichung County.

DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) representing the Nantou constituency, who has been serving as a lawmaker since the second legislature in 1992, complimented Tsai as one of the few outstanding caucus leaders he has seen over the past decade.

To be a good caucus leader, Lin said that a person has to be able to negotiate with lawmakers from other parties and government officials.

With his 10-year experience in the legislature, Lin said that he believes Tsai would make a good county commissioner.

Tsai, who entered the political limelight about a decade ago and was elected to the legislature in 1995, said he hopes county residents will give him a chance to serve them and promised to get more funding for local infrastructure projects.

Tsai was born in 1960 into a poor tenant farmer's family of nine in Puli, Nantou County. He graduated from a two-year college program, which was previously affiliated with National Chengchi University and is now affiliated with the National Open University.

The life of the farmer's son took a dramatic turn in 1979 when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime cracked down on an anti-government parade in Kaohsiung organized by Formosa magazine -- a brutal chapter in Taiwan's history later coined the Kaohsiung Incident (美麗島事件).

What the government did to those people made Tsai detest the KMT regime and prompted him to join the democratic movement after completing his military service.

He became a DPP member after the regime lifted a ban on political parties in 1986, but began his political career in 1984 as a township representative in his hometown. In the 18 years following, he has assumed positions ranging from township arbitrator, representative of his colleague Hsu's campaign office in Nantou, to county councilor and lawmaker.

Recalling working with Tsai in the days of the KMT era when the two ran an underground radio station, Hsu described Tsai as an articulate, quick-witted, hard-working and practical person.

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