Mon, Dec 01, 2014 - Page 3 News List

2014 ELECTIONS: Smaller parties clinch big victories

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

Several minor parties with progressive agendas made gains in Saturday’s elections, including the Green Party Taiwan (GPT), which clinched its first electoral victories since it was founded in 1996.

Two out of the nine GPT candidates running for city and county councilor posts nationwide won, indicating growing support for the party’s platform of environmental awareness and grassroots social activism.

Chou Chiang-chieh (周江杰) was elected county councilor in Hsinchu County’s Chutung (竹東) and Wufeng (五峰) districts on the GPT’s ticket after a campaign bolstered by volunteers who canvassed hilly terrain on bicycles.

GPT candidate Wang Hao-yu (王浩宇) finished a surprising second in the contest for 10 council seats in Taoyuan’s Chungli District (中壢).

As the founder and moderator of a popular Facebook page titled: “I am from Chungli,” which features local news and entertainment, Wang channeled traffic generated by the page into support for his campaign, garnering 16,269 votes.

Meanwhile, the Tree Party — a GPT splinter organization founded earlier this year by former GPT secretary-general Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲) — triumphed in the mayoral election for Nantou County’s Chichi Township (集集), marking a successful start for the party.

Vowing to represent the interests of trees, cats and dogs, along with “all those who cannot speak for themselves,” the Tree Party basked in additional wins, including one in Chichi for Chen Chi-heng (陳紀衡) and Hsu Yu-lun’s (許育綸) campaign for a citizen representative seat in Hsinchu County’s Chubei Township (竹北).

Minor left-wing parties also made gains, with the socialist pro-unification Labor Party holding on to Gao Wei-kai’s (高偉凱) seat in the Hsinchu County Council, while its only other candidate, Chen Shin-yuan (陳新源), also succeeded, winning a citizen representative contest in Hsinchu County’s Hsinpu Township (新埔).

People Are The Boss — a party founded by labor rights activist Cheng Tsun-chi (鄭村棋) in 2011 — managed to grab one borough warden post, although it fielded 37 candidates nationwide, including in the mayoral races for Keelung and Chiayi City.

Advocates for more political autonomy for Aborigines celebrated wins for the Taiwan First Nations Party, a new group that saw three of its six candidates triumph.

Rungquan lhkatafatu, a Thao Aborigine, claimed a dramatic victory in the contest for the Plains Aborigines seat in the Nantou County Council, beating his rival by a single vote.

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