An independence activist says she plans to announce a bid for president next week, but could face uphill hurdles under current election laws because of a lack of party affiliation.
Former national policy advisor Ellen Huang (黃越綏) could make an announcement on Monday morning that would make her the third declared presidential candidate, reports said.
She was unreachable for comment yesterday, but close associates confirm that they have received an invitation for the declaration at National Taiwan University Hospital’s International Convention Center, the same location where Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) launched her presidential bid in March.
Attendees are invited to gather as “historical witnesses to Taiwan’s national development.”
The invitation was extended to pro-independence groups and DPP politicians, including Tsai.
“The residents of [Taiwan] have the right to decide and use referendums to create a country: This national development needs the participation of all people nationwide,” the invitation says.
Tsai confirmed yesterday that the DPP would send a representative, though she said she was “considering” whether to go herself.
Huang, a close associate of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), was instrumental in forming Chen’s One Side, One Country Alliance, a group of DPP lawmakers. She quit as convener of the alliance in March.
However, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), the former president’s son, yesterday said that alliance members would still support Tsai because Huang had previously been dissuaded from running during a visit to his father in prison.
“We all support Tsai and are unable to support Huang,” Chen Chih-chung said.
Huang would face an uphill battle to be included on next year’s presidential ballot.
Without endorsement from a political party, Huang would need 1.5 percent of the voting public — about 257,000 people — to support her in a petition.
She would also have to pay a NT$1 million deposit to get her name on the ballot.