Wed, Mar 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Report says DPP might not contest some races in 2018

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is considering not putting forward candidates for next year’s mayoral and councilor elections in some constituencies, in favor of forging alliances with DPP-friendly independent candidates, in a bid to prevent the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) winning seats, a report said yesterday.

The DPP is considering not fielding candidates for the mayoral election in Taipei and Miaoli, as well as in Kinmen County, to make room for DPP-friendly candidates who it views as more likely to win those seats, including Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), Miaoli Mayor Chiu Ping-kun (邱炳坤) and Kinmen County Commissioner Chen Fu-hai (陳福海), a report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily said.

In the Taipei race, the DPP is planning to conduct opinion polls on a possible candidate’s chances against Ko before deciding whether the party should nominate its own candidate, the report said.

In the run-up to 2014’s Taipei mayoral election, DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) won the primary, but gave up the candidacy to support Ko’s campaign. Ko had higher approval ratings than Yao in polls, resulting in an alliance between the DPP and Ko, an independent.

However, the DPP yesterday denied that it had such a policy.

The report is baseless speculation, DPP spokesman Yang Chia-liang (楊家俍) said.

The party would implement the plan devised by its electoral strategy committee, Yang said.

The committee on Wednesday last week finalized its nomination mechanism for next year’s elections.

In cities and counties run by the DPP where the mayor or commissioner is serving their first term, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is also the DPP chairperson, is to nominate the incumbent to seek re-election or choose a replacement candidate.

In cities and counties where DPP mayors and commissioners have served their maximum term and must leave office, primaries would be held to decide the nominations, with the outcomes of opinion polls to decide who will run.

In non-DPP ruled municipalities, or “difficult districts,” Tsai can name candidates without undertaking a primary.

Yao, who intends to seek the party’s nomination to run for Taipei mayor, said that a rumor that the DPP plans to give up difficult constituencies might have been spread by Ko’s campaign team to help him secure re-election.

“Half of those rumors were spread by Ko’s aides to try to prompt DPP candidates to drop out,” Yao said, adding that the party has a nomination mechanism and would follow it.

The DPP is to finalize its nomination mechanism for councilor candidates next month.

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