Amid disputes and infighting among the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) different fractions, former Kaohsiung City Marine Bureau director Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) beat Kaohsiung City Councilor Chen Hsin-yu (陳信瑜) in the battle for the party’s nomination in next year’s legislative election.
Having won support from 33.7 percent of the respondents in an approval rating survey, while his opponent had only 28.7 percent, Lai was confirmed as the DPP nominee in next year’s legislative election to represent Siaogang (小港) and Cianjhen (前鎮) districts in Kaohsiung, the DPP said in a repress release.
According to the party’s regulations, when a primary is necessary to determine the party’s nominee, an support rate survey is to be conducted by three marketing firms in the constituency, and the primary candidate with the highest average support rate wins the official nomination.
Although Siaogang and Cianjhen is not the only electoral district that requires a primary, it is perhaps the bloodiest constituency in terms of infighting between Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu’s (陳菊) faction, represented by Lai, and former premier Frank Hsieh’s (謝長廷) faction, represented by Chen Hsin-yu.
Not only have Lai and Chen Hsin-yu verbally attacked on each other, but their associates also criticized each other’s camps.
Hsieh complained that Chen Chu’s criticism of Chen Hsin-yu was so harsh that it was like “shooting a kitten with a machine gun,” while DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康), a close associate with Chen Chu, complained of “humiliation of Chen Chu.”
Due to the vitriolic verbal exchanges, Hsieh resigned on Thursday as a coordinator for nomination in Kaohsiung.
The situation is complicated.
In the beginning, former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), was also in the battle for nomination, but he later withdrew from the primary, and threw his support behind Lai.
Although Chen Chih-chung said at the time that he decided to withdraw for the good of the party, there was initial speculation that Hsieh had forced him to withdraw to help Chen Hsin-yu, while the Chinese-language China Times Weekly yesterday reported that Chen Chu had asked Chen Chih-chung to back out to “clear the way” for Lai, and promised to offer certain city government positions to Chen Chih-chung.
Aside from Kaohsiung, the DPP also completed nomination for the legislative seat representing New Taipei City’s Shulin (樹林) and Yingge (鶯歌) districts, as well as nine boroughs in Sinjhuang District (新莊).
Leading with 38 percent support — far outstripping the 11 percent support of DPP New Taipei City Councilor Ou Chin-shih (歐金獅) and New Taipei City Councilor Liao Pen-yen’s (廖本煙) son, Liao Yi-kun (廖宜琨) — former premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) daughter, Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧), won the party’s nomination for the seat.
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