The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee yesterday approved the nominations of local council heads in Taipei and Sinbei cities, and will finalize the nominees in the three other special municipalities next week.
The committee approved the nomination of incumbent Taipei City Council Speaker Wu Bi-chu (吳碧珠) and Deputy Speaker Chen Chin-hsiang (陳錦祥) to seek re-election.
In Sinbei City (the new name for Taipei County after its status upgrade on Dec. 25), the KMT nominated incumbent Taipei County Council Speaker Chen Hsin-ching (陳幸進) and Deputy Speaker Chen Hung-yuan (陳鴻源) to seek re-election.
KMT Organization and Development Committee head Huang Chao-yuan (黃昭元) said the party was still negotiating with candidates in Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung. The nomination process for the three cities will be completed next week, Huang said.
As the pan-blue camp obtained 36 of the 62 seats on the Taipei City Council, the KMT said it is optimistic about the election result in the city. In Sinbei City, the KMT will seek the support of eight independent councilors as the party only obtained two more seats on the council than the DPP.
The KMT is facing difficulties in finalizing its nominees in Tai-chung and Kaohsiung, as more than two councilors in the two cities have expressed an interest in representing the party in the election.
In Tainan, the DPP enjoys a majority in both the city and county councils. The KMT said it will still present nominees in the election because the party’s share of the overall popular vote fell in November’s elections and party members are concerned that losing the right to nominate the head of the city council could make it difficult for the party to sustain support at the grassroots level.
The KMT won three of the five mayoral seats in the special municipality elections, but garnered only 3.4 million, or 44.5 percent, of all the votes cast. The DPP, on the other hand, received 3.8 million votes, or 49.9 percent, of the total.
KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), who heads the task force dealing with the nomination of local council heads, said the party would speed up its negotiations in Taichung and Kaohsiung and finalize the nominees via the party’s nomination mechanism.
The DPP yesterday also confirmed most of its official nominations for the local council speaker elections. Sources said that the party is optimistic it will win at least the two seats in Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung, and it is hoping for a third in Greater Taichung.
Additional reporting by Vincent Y. Chao