Tue, Feb 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP might face uphill election battle

UNPOPULAR:Re-election prospects of Chiayi Mayor Twu Shiing-jer are ‘worrying,’ a DPP lawmaker said, adding that the party has placed the mayor on a watch list

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) might face a rocky election campaign in next year’s local elections in Yilan and Yunlin counties and Chiayi City, DPP lawmakers said.

The DPP, which is in office in 13 of the nation’s 22 local governments, might see its electoral efforts hampered due to disunity and an underperforming mayor, according to the lawmakers.

DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀), Yilan’s sole legislator and a likely candidate in the county commissioner election, yesterday said that at least three local officials have announced their intention to seek party nomination for the election.

The competition for party nomination had reportedly been fierce well before outgoing Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) was appointed as the Council of Agriculture minister.

“The competition is intense, but I doubt it would turn into anything like a split” within the DPP, Chen said in response to a question whether infighting might cause the DPP to lose the county.

“Next year’s election will be close, as [the DPP candidates] do not have the advantage of incumbency and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates have been preparing for the election for a long time,” Chen said.

Three KMT politicians have been campaigning for party nomination for months and each of them would be a strong opponent for the DPP, Chen said.

Local residents have been dissatisfied with the county government’s policies on farmhouse regulations, land taxes and the government’s finances, which might hurt the DPP’s re-election prospects, he said.

However, those factors might not sway the election in the KMT’s favor, as the electorate is known for being non-partisan, and it is the candidates’ quality and vision that would affect the election’s outcome, Chen said.

Chen added that he will announce in a few months whether he will participate in the commissioner race.

Yunlin County Commissioner Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) has reportedly been at odds with DPP legislator and former county commissioner Su Chih-feng (蘇治芬) over land development and farmers’ association elections.

DPP Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國), a three-term lawmaker who lost the DPP nomination to Lee Chin-yung by a small margin in the last party primary election, might challenge the commissioner.

Meanwhile, Chiayi Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) of the DPP said the possibility of Chiayi Mayor Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) being re-elected is “worrying.”

Lee Chun-yi said he heard about Twu being placed on a “watch list” by the DPP, with public opinion polls showing disapproval for the mayor, but added that the DPP’s priority is to help Twu regain popularity.

“Solidarity is the most important thing for the DPP to win the election. What I am most afraid of is disunity,” Lee Chun-yi said. “The most important thing is who can win the election, rather than who will participate in the election.”

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