Pundits have predicted possible infighting within the pan-blue camp in the run-up to next year’s legislative elections after news recently surfaced that the People First Party (PFP) rejected a proposal made by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to collaborate in the nomination of candidates.
The PFP is a KMT splinter group that formed after the 2000 presidential election.
The first batch of legislative candidates announced by the PFP earlier this month includes PFP Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), who plans to run in Keelung, and Taipei City Councilor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), who is eyeing Taipei’s Nangang/Neihu (南港/內湖) constituency.
In New Taipei City, candidates announced by the PFP include former KMT lawmaker Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), who is to run for a legislative seat in the Sanchong District (三重), and media personality Hector Kang (康仁俊) running in the Banciao District (板橋).
Former legislator Chen Chao-jung (陳朝容) was also on the list, set to compete in Changhua County’s third constituency, the PFP said.
The announcement of the candidates means that the PFP and the KMT will directly compete with each other in Nangang/Neihu, Banciao and Keelung.
A source close to the pan-blue camp said that Nangang/Neihu and Keelung were the focus of negotiations initiated by the KMT, but the PFP never agreed to a proposal that candidates be selected after comparing their approval ratings in surveys.
In addition, a litany of criticism PFP members have hurled at President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the KMT demonstrated that the proposed collaboration lacked any rationale, the source said.
The nomination of Chang, Kang and Chen was an obvious gesture by the PFP to challenge the KMT, sources said, adding that despite the PFP’s chances of winning in the three constituencies are not very high, the KMT would have to mobilize support to outmaneuver the PFP’s candidates.
The KMT said that it would consider pitting Taipei City Councilor Lee Yan-hsiu (李彥秀) against Huang, and that it might bypass a primary to nominate KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), the former mayor of Taipei, to run in Keelung.
When asked to comment on his possible opponent on Thursday, Liu said that Hau, having served two terms as Taipei mayor, should be running for president instead.
Meanwhile, Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), an independent, has reportedly reached an agreement with the KMT to nominate Legislator Wang Ting-son (王廷升) instead of his protege, Hualien Deputy Commissioner Hsu Hsiang-ming (徐祥明), after Wang beat Hsu in polls.
Wang is to compete against Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) in the constituency.
However, KMT supporters said it was unclear what kind of relationship Fu has with the PFP and that the party should be wary of possible variables Fu might add to the legislative race.
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