Wed, Jun 29, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Yu Tian supporters seek to sway roster

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Singer-turned-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Tian (余天) is counting on support from fellow entertainers to continue his legislative career.

After media speculation that the party would not include the popular folk singer on its roster of -legislators-at-large, supporters yesterday took out half-page advertisements in popular newspapers.

Signed by TV hosts Chang Fei (張菲), Hu Gua (胡瓜), singer Lotus Wang (王彩樺) and 30 other television entertainers, the statement called on the DPP to ensure that the folk singer was nominated next year.

The New Taipei City (新北市) legislator “is the only lawmaker that represents the arts and entertainment industry,” the statement read. “Nominating Yu as a legislator-at-large would showcase the DPP’s support of and dedication to local culture.”

According to media reports, Yu could be the first high-profile casualty of the DPP’s roster of -legislators-at-large, who will be elected based on the proportion of the party’s vote in January’s election.

Yesterday was the final day of internal party discussions regarding the list before it was set to be approved this afternoon.

Yu was passed up by a party nomination for the seat in the pan-green stronghold of Sanchong District (三重), where he won in 2008, in favor of DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) as it was thought that Yu would face a tough re-election bid.

However, with only 16 or 17 places on the legislator-at-large roster considered by party officials to be “safe” — as the DPP only elected 14 legislators-at-large in 2008 — there has been increasing concern among DPP leaders on how to avoid a showdown between factions within the party that are vying for a share of the nominations.

DPP officials, led by party Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), expect to unveil the roster this afternoon after it is approved by a DPP committee.

When asked about whether Yu had been taken off the list, Tsai yesterday said that “currently, no one has been ruled out and no one is considered safe.”

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