Fri, Jun 24, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Cheng Li-wun receives KMT nod for Greater Taichung bid

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) plans to nominate KMT Legislator Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) to run in January’s legislative election in Greater Taichung as part of an effort to finalize its nomination list for highly contested districts.

The party confirmed Cheng’s nomination to run for Greater Taichung’s -Taiping (太平) and Dali (大里) electoral district after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, invited her to join the election on Monday.

Cheng said yesterday that she had also discussed her candidacy with former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), and will pay a visit to Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) and other local politicians to seek their support before formally announcing her bid.

“Greater Taichung is a crucial area for the presidential election. We cannot afford to lose the district in the legislative election ... Seeking victory in this contested district is a great responsibility, and I will make the announcement after visiting Taichung,” she said.

The nomination of 42-year-old Cheng, a former member of the Democratic Progressive Party, comes as the KMT puts forward younger and more energetic candidates in the legislative election to improve its image.

Former women’s professional basketball star Rosa Chien (錢薇娟), 40, and KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓), 35, are among the younger candidates to represent the party in the New Taipei City (新北市) and Greater Tainan City electoral districts respectively.

Su said the KMT would present legislative candidates with integrity and clean images, especially in highly contested districts.

The nomination of Cheng and other younger candidates, however, sparked disputes within the party, as some local contenders and grassroots organizers accused about the KMT’s leaders of disrupting the party’s established nomination mechanism.

Taichung City Council Speaker Chang Ching-tang (張清堂) said the council and local factions have been negotiating with local contenders to finalize a candidate, adding that the KMT did not inform the local council about its decision to nominate Cheng.

Su brushed aside concerns about the nomination process. He said the party handled each nomination on a case-by-case basis, with candidates determined by polls or negotiations.

The KMT was originally scheduled to complete its nomination process on May 21, but the process has been delayed because of difficulties in finalizing candidates in districts with more than one contender.

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