Tue, Jan 16, 2018 - Page 3 News List

DPP registers candidates for four local primaries

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Candidates from the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) “New Tide” faction were absent yesterday as several politicians registered their candidacy for the party’s nomination for this year’s mayoral elections.

The DPP began the registration process for the DPP-controlled municipalities of Kaohsiung, Tainan, Yilan County and Chiayi County, where primary elections must be held to determine the nominees.

DPP legislators Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) and Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) registered their candidacy in the DPP primary for the Tainan mayorship, while DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) registered in the primary for Yilan County commissioner and Chiayi County Council Speaker Chang Ming-ta (張明達) registered in the Chiayi County primary.

Candidates from the New Tide faction — the party’s most influential subgroup — were absent from the nomination process for the all four cities and counties.

Following DPP Legislator Liu Shih-fang’s (劉世芳) withdrawal from the Kaohsiung nomination race on Thursday last week, Yilan County Acting Commissioner Derek Chen (陳金德) yesterday renounced his candidacy for the DPP’s Yilan County primary, suggesting that the New Tide faction might forfeit mayoral elections in the four municipalities.

Huang renounced the presence of factions in the nomination race, saying that he would be “a mayor for [Tainan] residents instead of a mayor of a political faction.”

Huang, who has been leading other competitors in opinion polls, was a member of the New Tide faction before he withdrew after former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), then-DPP chairman, urged the dissolution of factions in 2004.

Rejecting media reports that the New Tide faction has decided to support him, Huang said his connection with Premier William Lai (賴清德), a major New Tide figure, has nothing to do with party factionalism, as all candidates are seeking the support of the former Tainan mayor.

Huang said he would not return to the New Tide faction if elected.

Meanwhile, Derek Chen, who was thought to have sewn up the DPP nomination for Yilan County commissioner before he began losing support due to his controversial farmland policies, said he would not participate in the primary, but did not explicitly exclude the possibility that the DPP might directly recruit him without resorting to a primary race.

Asked by media whether he would accept the DPP candidacy should the party decide to recruit him, Derek Chen said that Yilan residents cared more about who the DPP candidate was than whether the nomination process was democratic.

Although the party could face a considerable challenge in Yilan, as potential Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates are popular among local voters, the four municipalities have been DPP strongholds, resulting in fierce competition between DPP politicians for the nominations.

The DPP plans to formally nominate candidates for the four municipalities on March 14, following a primary poll held from March 5 to March 9.

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