Thu, Jun 30, 2011 - Page 3 News List

DPP releases legislator-at-large roster

GET OUT THE VOTE:Party officials said that three heavyweights were placed just outside the “safe” section of the list to motivate their supporters to vote in January

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Secretary-General Su Jia-Chyuan prepares to announce a list of candidates for 34 at-large legislative seats in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

The highly anticipated Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) roster for legislator-at-large seats was released yesterday and three top party politicians were included at the fringe of the perceived “safe” zone.

The roster for January’s legislative elections was unanimously passed by a party committee yesterday. It strikes a careful balance between factions and features prominently supporters of DPP Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), including two of her former spokespeople.

Sixteen, or almost half of the 34 spots on the list are considered “safe,” according to recent media polls, and would constitute an increase of two seats from the 2008 election when the DPP took 14 spots, compared with 20 spots to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The legislator-at-large seats are given based on the proportion of the vote a party receives.

Former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Tsai’s opponent in the DPP’s presidential primary, was listed at No. 18 , while former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) was No. 20. Another former premier, Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), was listed at No. 16.

Party officials said that the three were strategically placed just outside the “safe” zone is an attempt to mobilize their supporters, who maintain bases of support in New Taipei City (新北市) and Greater Kaohsiung, where Hsieh was the former mayor.

“All three were willing to place themselves at the fringes of the safe list in order to boost our share of the vote. Everyone in the DPP has confidence that our share of the party list will exceed half [of the allocated seats],” DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said when announcing the roster. “It shows we have ambition.”

Among the 34 candidates on the legislator-at-large roster, half of the spots were allocated to women, who received odd numbers, while all men were even numbered.

The DPP’s nominations inside the “safe” zone are divided into two broad groups: seasoned politicians, such as DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who has the No. 2 spot, and factional representatives; and community representatives, such as environmental and labor activists.

The No. 1 spot for the second year running went to Legislator Chen Chieh-ju (陳節如), an advocate for the disabled, while the third spot went to Cheng Shu-hwa (鄭素華), who is active in labor and union circles. The fifth spot went to Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇), an environmental activist.

Two of Tsai’s former spokespeople during her bid last year for New Taipei City (新北市) mayor, Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君), were included at the No. 7 and No. 9 spots respectively. DPP spokesperson, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) was No. 8.

“We had a lot of talent to choose from, but at the end of the day, we could only choose 34 to submit to the Central Election Commission,” Su Jia-chyuan said, seeking to preemptively address to questions from those not selected. “It was a hard pick and we had to make many difficult decisions.”

Rounding out the “safe” section of the list were former DPP secretary-general Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) at No. 4, Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) at No. 6, former DPP legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) at No. 10 and Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), an attorney and a long-time women’s rights advocate, at No. 11.

Su Tseng-chang supporter and former DPP legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) took the No. 12 spot, DPP Legislator Hsueh Ling (薛凌) was No. 13, singer-turned-politician Yu Tian (余天) was No. 14 and DPP Legislator Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) took the No. 15.

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