Mon, Mar 14, 2011 - Page 3 News List

DPP looking to head off its legislative primaries

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials are planning to step up negotiations between prospective legislative candidates after 62 contenders signed up for 33 electoral districts as of Saturday.

“Only if the negotiations fail will we be holding party primaries next month,” DPP Deputy Secretary-General Fred Hung (洪耀福) said, before adding that the party hopes to avoid the potentially damaging primary process.

Under party regulations, contenders will vie for seats the party doesn’t deem to be “difficult districts,” defined as those areas where the party took less than 42.5 percent of the vote in 2008. Candidates for the 40 difficult districts will be appointed by the party.

According to latest DPP information: Four districts have four registered contenders; three districts have three contenders; 12 districts have two contenders and 13 districts have just one registered candidate.

In one of the districts in Nantou County, not a single DPP candidate registered.

Only 13 female candidates finished their registration by Saturday compared with 49 men. All 19 sitting DPP legislators, excluding the 14 party legislators-at-large, will vie for re-election.

The most competitive constituency for the DPP is Shihlin (士林) and Datong (大同), where the DPP lost by 7 percent in 2008 — the lowest margin in Taipei City.

Candidates for the district include former lawmakers Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉), Julian Kuo (郭正亮) and Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) as well as former Cabinet spokesperson Pasuya Yao (姚文智), and they have begun to put up large advertisements.

A resurgent DPP is hoping that its increased overall vote in the special municipality elections — which outnumbered that of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) — will sweep a significant number of candidates into office this year.

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