Fri, Jul 18, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TSU gears up for fall races

By Wang Wen-hsuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

While November’s seven-in-one elections are primarily the battleground for the two main political parties, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said it will also campaign hard, focusing on opposition to the cross-strait service trade agreement and free economic pilot zones.

Critics have said the pact signed in June last year lacks transparency, and the service industry is concerned about what it says will be the pact’s negative effects on local businesses.

The government says the free economic pilot zones would Taiwan attract investment, but critics say they would hurt local agricultural goods suppliers because food processing companies might opt for cheaper raw materials from China and other countries.

TSU Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) said the party plans to nominate 50 members for city and county councilors. The TSU holds one seat on the Taipei City Council, one seat on the Greater Taichung Municipal Council and seats in four other counties.

The party nominated 15 candidates for the last election, but is now nominating one person per district, Lin said.

“We hope to grow our number of city councilors exponentially,” he added.

Cooperation with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) involve avoiding DPP areas of interest to maximize the election of pan-green candidates, Lin said.

Accurate assessment of public support for the party’s candidates cannot start until all parties have finalized their nominations, Lin said.

Lin said the TSU is to campaign on pro-local sympathies and disagrees with the DPP over how cross-strait policies should be handled.

The nation should not rely overtly on China, and the TSU explicitly opposes the pact and pilot zones because they mean economic integration with China, Lin said.

“We hope to attract like-minded voters to our cause,” Lin said.

TSU Deputy Secretary-General Liu Yi-te (劉一德) said the party is setting its sights on areas with many seats, because the bigger parties dominate the smaller areas.

Liu said his party is searching for candidates who are well-known, such as the party’s Greater Kaohsiung branch party headquarters chairman Yang Ting-kuo (楊定國), who was just 600 votes short of winning the last election.

Liu said that the party wants to nominate experienced people, but “the TSU foremost needs people who identify with the party’s ideals.”

“The TSU’s strong point is that it is known for walking its own path and — when it comes down to it — willing to be belligerent,” Liu said.

TSU members said they hope the party’s strong pro-localization stance will help its cause, adding that the party headquarters should unify the party’s election efforts and hand out uniform campaign materials to be distributed nationwide.

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