Sun, Aug 05, 2012 - Page 3 News List

PFP rolls out comeback for 2014 local elections

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

The People First Party (PFP), holding three seats in the 113-seat legislature, is ready to revitalize the party and reinforce its local support base as it prepares to enter the fierce battlefield of the seven-in-one local elections in 2014, the party said yesterday.

“The PFP had remained inactive following the Jan. 14 presidential election, but now, with a prime aim in the 2014 seven-in-one elections, the party is prepared to take some action and appeal to its supporters who have been silent for some time,” PFP Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said.

The PFP has already started its efforts to strengthen the grassroots support for the party and recruit campaign volunteers in June by launching a tour around various administrative regions.

Liu, who doubles as the executive chief of the party’s newly-founded National Joint Service Center, has been chosen to preside over the tour to help build up rapport with the party’s potential local supporters.

The seven-in-one elections — deemed by most political parties to be a vital prelude to the 2016 presidential election — will be held concurrently to pick the mayors of the five special municipalities, county commissioners, city mayors, five municipality councilors, county and city councilors, township chiefs and councilors, borough wardens and village heads.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) also adopted similar strategies to enlist 12,000 campaign volunteers in preparing for the 2014 local elections, Liu said.

Because PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) is grieving the passing of his wife, Chen Wan-shui (陳萬水), who died at the age of 72 last month, he was not included in details about the party’s volunteer recruitment scheme, Liu added.

Liu said the party, which formed a three-man party caucus in the legislature following the Jan.14 elections, has received repeated calls from its grassroots members for reinforced organization efforts.

In response to the requests, the party established the National Joint Service Center as an addition to its several existing local service centers to employing the party’s organizations, resources and local influence to better consolidate its local base and pave the way for the seven-in-one elections, he said.

According to an unidentified party member, the PFP had sought to fortify its local support during the campaign period for the Jan.14 presidential election.

It enrolled hundreds of talented youth from across the country to form the Tangerine Youth Corps, who were named for the color of the party, and built up an organizational structure under which each local division was headed by a “commander” and every city and county division by an “orange chief,” the party member said.

However, the corps was suspended after internal bickering caused by the leadership of the corps’ management-level members and conflicts between its members and with supporters from the pan-blue and pan-green camps that pretended to be PFP supporters to infiltrate the corps, he said.

All operations of the corps have been put off on the heels of the presidential election and will only resume after a readjustment, the member said.

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