The first of three televised debates for the five candidates vying for the chairmanship of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is scheduled for Sunday in Greater Kaohsiung, a DPP official said yesterday.
DPP Deputy Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福) said the debates would be held in Greater Kaohsiung, Greater Taichung and Taipei on Sunday, May 6 and May 12 respectively.
The five candidates are former DPP legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮), former Tainan mayor Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智), former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), former vice premier Wu Rong-i (吳榮義) and former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who is widely considered a strong contender.
The election will be held on May 27.
Party sources said turnout was expected to be 50 percent of the party’s more than 160,000 members, so that about 40,000 votes for a particular candidate would be sufficient to secure victory.
Meanwhile, two of the candidates said the party should win more support from the public to help boost its chances in future elections.
Hsu said that ahead of the 2014 seven-in-one local elections, the DPP should encourage recent college graduates to pitch in for local ward chief elections.
The seven-in-one elections will be held concurrently for the mayors of the five special municipalities, county commissioners and city mayors, five municipality councilors, county and city -councilors, township chiefs, township councilors, borough wardens and village heads.
Hsu said the party should not ignore the ward chief elections, adding that victories in this area will boost the DPP’s momentum in mayoral and councilor elections.
For his part, Wu promised to lead the party to secure more than half of the mayoral and councilor posts in the five special municipalities, and 30 percent of the seats for county and city councilors, and to have more than 50 percent of the party’s warden and village chief nominees win election in the seven-in-one elections scheduled for 2014.
To win the seven-in-one elections, the DPP must work to reinforce its strength in over the next two years, Wu said.
The most important task for the party is to regain public trust and support, Wu said, which he believed could be achieved by forming a shadow government, with academics from various backgrounds, DPP legislators and officials from the former DPP administration joining to closely supervise the government.
The DPP should also strengthen its ties with the public, because the party’s members total only about 160,000, or 1 percent of Taiwan’s population, Wu said, adding that the party should increase party member recruitment to broaden its base.
Speaking about the party’s membership structure, Wu said that the DPP has a low proportion of young and female members, which it must raise to widen the party’s base.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, Staff Writer