Wed, Jul 30, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP members at odds over local election campaigns

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A dispute has arisen among Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members over whether the party’s legislators should remain in their posts while campaigning for next year’s mayoral elections.

With the exception of Taipei and Kaohsiung, the nation’s 23 other cities and counties will hold their mayoral and county commissioner elections at the end of next year.

Tainan City Councilor Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) told the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that he was interested in running for Tainan’s mayoral seat, although two DPP legislators — Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) and William Lai (賴清德) — are also eyeing the position.

Wang said he believed legislators should quit their legislative position before launching election campaigns in order to demonstrate their determination and devotion to serving the local community.

However, DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said that there was nothing in the party’s rules stipulating that elected officials had to resign from their post before running in an election.

“Such a rule would prevent outstanding members from taking part in the election process,” Tsai said. “What the party should do is let the best individual run.”

Since next year’s mayoral elections are widely considered by political observers to be crucial to the DPP, an intense discussion on recruitment rules is expected to be floored at the party’s Central Standing Committee meeting today.

The Liberty Times reported that DPP legislators Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) and Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅) and Tainan County Deputy Commissioner Yen Chun-tzuo (顏純左) were all interested in running for Tainan County commissioner, while DPP legislators Chen Chi-yu (陳啟昱) and Yu Jan-daw (余政道) and former legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) had their eyes on the Kaohsiung County commissionership.

The DPP decided at its national convention earlier this month that a primary would not be held for next year’s mayoral elections. Instead, candidates would be recruited and vetted by the Central Executive Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body.

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