Six pairs of presidential election candidates fielded by independents and small political parties completed their registration with the Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday, the last day for presidential candidacy registration.
They are independent Lee -Hsing-chang (李幸長) and his running mate Wu Wu-ming (吳武明), People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and his running mate, Lin Ruey-shiung (林瑞雄), the Taiwanese National Party’s Chuang Mung-hsieh (莊孟學) and his running mate, Huang Guohua (黃國華), People United Party Chairperson Hsu Jung-shu (許榮淑) and her running mate, Wu Chia-li (吳嘉琍), independent Kao Kuo-ching (高國慶) and his running mate, Teng Hsiu-pao (鄧秀寶), and independent Lin Ching-ying (林金瑛) and running mate Shih Hsiang-ching (石翊靖). According to CEC regulations, an endorsement process is required for presidential aspirants unless they represent a political party that won at least 5 percent of the vote in the last presidential or legislative election.
Independents must collect signatures from at least 1.5 percent of eligible voters, or 257,695 signatures, within 45 days after the launch of the public endorsement period on Sept. 22.
As of now, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is seeking re-election as member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) are the only full-fledged candidates.
On Sept. 13, independent presidential aspirant Ellen Huang (黃越綏) announced her decision to drop out of January’s presidential election.
Saying that she would have to pay a NT$1 million (US$33,900) registration fee to the CEC to become a presidential candidate through signature collection and a subsequent fee of NT$15 million to formally register, the 64-year-old social activist said: “It is more significant to buy 20,000 lunch boxes for the underprivileged than to hand NT$1 million to the CEC.”
She also said that she would never have been able to obtain the signatures needed to enter as an independent presidential candidate.