Mon, Dec 17, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Academic says pan-blues will trounce DPP in poll

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, WASHINGTON

A Taiwanese academic speculated in Washington last week that the pan-blue alliance will win 71 seats in the legislative elections next month, with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) claiming just 39.

Wu Chung-li (吳重禮), a researcher at Academia Sinica, made his forecast at a seminar sponsored by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Wu estimated that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party (PFP) and the New Party would together win 71 legislative seats -- 48 regional seats, 18 legislator-at-large seats and five Aboriginal seats -- accounting for 62.8 percent of the 113-member legislature.

By comparison, he said he expects the DPP to win just 39 seats -- 25 regional seats, 13 legislator-at-large seats and one Aboriginal seat -- accounting for 34.5 percent of the legislature.

TSU

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), an ally of the DPP in the pan-green camp, could win 3 regional seats, he said.

Wu based his speculation on the two camps' performances in major elections from 2004 to last year, including the 2004 legislative and presidential polls, the 2005 provincial city and county chief elections and last year's special municipality mayoral elections.

If he is correct, Wu said next month's legislative polls will mark a watershed in Taiwanese politics.

power base

He said the pan-blue alliance would cement its power base in northern, central and most eastern regions, while the DPP would prevail in southern Taiwan. He said this would indicate "a serious rift in society."

Wu predicted that small parties such as the TSU, the New Party and the PFP would all disappear from the political map.

However, he refused to predict the outcome of the March 22 presidential election between DPP candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and his KMT rival Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

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