Sat, Jan 07, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Political parties do the electoral math for Saturday’s polls

Staff Writer, with CNA

As political parties estimate how many legislative seats they might win in next Saturday’s polls, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has said it hopes to garner 60, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it aims to secure 50 in the 113-seat legislature.

The People First Party (PFP), whose chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) is in a three-way presidential race with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), said it hoped to win up to 13 seats, while the New Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) hoped they could garner three and two seats respectively.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said it was very likely that neither the KMT nor the DPP would win more than half of the legislative seats, so the “power map” at the nation’s highest law-making body could change.

In 10 constituencies, pan-blue parties — the KMT, the PFP and the New Party — are locked in a battle for legislative seats. In all but one of the cases, the battle is between the KMT and the PFP, although all three pan-blue parties have nominated a contender in Kinmen.

In the pan-green camp, which includes the DPP and the TSU, the TSU has not nominated any candidates for the regional polls. It simply hopes to win more than 5 percent of the vote to earn two legislator-at-large seats.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) estimated that in the election for the nation’s 13th president and vice president, as well as the eighth Legislative Yuan, there would be 18,090,255 eligible voters, an increase of 768,633 from the 2008 elections.

The majority of the new voters are those who have turned 20 since the last election, while others are naturalized citizens, such as foreign spouses and new immigrants.

CEC officials said each voter will have three ballots: one for president and vice president, one for legislator and one for political party.

The presidential ballot is pink, while the political party ballot is white. The regional legislator ballot is yellow, but “plains Aborigines” will elect their legislators using light blue ballots and “mountain Aborigines” light green ones.

Polling stations will open at 8am and close at 4pm on Saturday. The CEC expects to finish the vote count by 10pm.

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