Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chiang Nai-shin (蔣乃辛) won the party’s primary yesterday and will represent it in the by-election to fill former KMT legislator Diane Lee’s (李慶安) vacant seat.
Chiang, 59, has been a Taipei City councilor for the Da-an and Wenshan electoral district since 1981. He vowed to win the by-election scheduled for March 18 and urged his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) counterpart to run a free and fair campaign.
“I feel extremely honored to represent the KMT in the by-election. The challenge is just beginning and I will do my best to win,” Chiang said at the KMT’s Taipei City branch after the result was announced.
Chiang grabbed 54 percent of the vote and polls combined, followed by fellow councilor Lin Yi-hua (林奕華), who received 21 percent. The overall turnout was about 30 percent.
The final results of the primary were determined by a combination of opinion polls and a vote, with the poll results accounting for 70 percent and the vote accounting for 30 percent.
The by-election is being held to fill the vacancy left by Lee, who resigned as a legislator on Jan. 8 because of the row over her holding US citizenship. The Central Election Commission revoked her elected status as a legislator and a Taipei City councilor on Saturday.
Chiang stressed that he did not have dual citizenship and called on pan-blue voters to support the KMT’s candidate.
In response to disputes over bribery accusations between Lin and another hopeful, KMT Taipei City Councilor Ching Li-fang (秦儷舫) during the campaign for the nomination, branch director Pan Chia-sen (潘家森) called on the two to put the dispute behind them and prioritize party unity and victory in the by-election.
Pan said the party’s investigation into Ching’s accusations that Lin bribed supporters by hosting a dinner party would continue, but declined to confirm whether the party would take any action after the investigation.
Ching and another two defeated candidates, Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元) and Lee Shin (李新), were also at the branch to give their support to Chiang and called on the public to give the KMT a second chance following the Diane Lee controversy.
“KMT supporters are a little disappointed [over the Diane Lee incident.] The party is willing to correct its mistakes and we ask for forgiveness from our supporters,” Lee Shin said.
Pan dismissed concerns that the Diane Lee furor would have a negative impact on the party’s performance in the by-election and said he expected supporters in the election district, a traditional KMT stronghold, to give their full support to Chiang.
Meanwhile, the DPP announced Taipei City Councilor Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) would be its candidate yesterday.
Chou told a press conference that while Da-an District would be difficult for the DPP to win, the Diane Lee scandal had disappointed many KMT supporters and they might turn to the DPP.
He said Diane Lee lied to voters for 14 years, then she and her party did not admit to their mistakes and apologize.
“Voters should teach the KMT a lesson,” Chou said.
Saying that the DPP has no legislators representing Taipei, Chou called on voters to support him and let him be their voice for Taipei.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG