The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) has declared the seven-in-one elections at the end of next year a “fight for survival,” and said it would focus on winning councilor seats instead of nominating candidates for mayors and county commissioners.
The seven-in-one elections are for special municipality mayors and councilors, county commissioners, city mayors and councilors, township mayors and councilors and borough and village wardens.
Since the legislative election reform, it has been difficult for a small party like the TSU to expand its number of elected representatives. The party currently has eight elected representatives: three legislators-at-large — Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信), Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) and Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉); two special municipality councilors and three county or city councilors.
Hsiao Kuan-yu (蕭貫譽), director of the party’s Department of Organization, said that since the TSU has little chance of winning against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party in “single-member districts,” it has decided to focus on elections for councilors in “multiple-member districts.”
“Next year’s local elections will be key to the TSU’s survival. If our party hopes to grow in strength, we must gain more elected representative seats,” Hsiao said.
“As such, the TSU will not nominate candidates to run for county commissioners, township mayors and councilors, nor for city mayors,” Hsiao said.
The TSU is now seeking suitable candidates for district councilors.
“We have filled about half of the nominations. We hope to complete all the nominations by the end of this year to prepare for next year’s campaign,” Hsiao said.
Hsiao said the TSU’s “No to Annexation, Protect Taiwan” campaign to recall President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has received a warm response, having collected more than 830,000 signatures so far.
“Our three legislators-at-large are actively doing their work, raising the visibility and profile of the TSU. They are also providing services to their constituents on behalf of the party,” he said.
“According to a poll by Future Events Trading Market, the TSU is the party most trusted by the public. So now is a good opportunity for it to make a major breakthrough,” he added.
These advantageous conditions should boost the party’s chances of winning councilor seats, he said, adding that the position and influence of local councilors at the grassroots level are comparable to that of legislators.
“If we can get more councilors elected next year, it will deepen our roots and built up support for the TSU. It will have a positive-feedback effect and gradually expand and consolidate the political power of the pro-Taiwanization movement,” Hsiao said.