Sat, Oct 31, 2015 - Page 3 News List

NPP promises to call for support for Amis candidate

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Amis Aborigine Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, center, yesterday accepts blessings from a former chief, right, as she becomes a candidate on the legislator-at-large roster of the New Power Party in Taipei.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday announced the first of its at-large legislative candidates, with party leaders promising to call for support for Amis Aboriginal activist Kawlo Iyun Pacidal to be placed at the top of the party’s at-large legislative slate.

Kawlo — who appeared in full traditional dress — was presented with a decorative belt and ceremonial gourd by Aboriginal representatives before donning the NPP’s trademark yellow campaign jacket, promising to fight for Aboriginal tribes to be recognized as independent nations and have jurisdiction over ancestral lands returned to them by the central government.

A former reporter for Taiwan Indigenous TV, Kawlo was previously involved in several Aboriginal social movements, notably helping to found the Amis Defense Alliance, which has protested development projects in traditional Amis lands along the nation’s east coast.

The party said it will nominate eight at-large candidates, with individual candidate rankings on the slate to be determined via online voting by party members and supporters.

Party founder Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said most online votes — which are also used for internal party governance and platform changes — are determined by a core group of several hundred supporters, promising to campaign for Kawlo to be placed in the slate’s top spot.

“Pushing her to the top spot is my responsibility, objective and honor,” he said, adding that promoting Aboriginal rights was one of his major goals in founding the party.

Party chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said he would do everything in his power “as an individual” to help her win the ranking vote without compromising his neutrality as party head.

He said that her placement on the party’s at-large list represented a party “commitment” to promote Aboriginal rights, promising to establish a campaign office for her in the nation’s east.

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