The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Executive Committee yesterday named DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) as the party’s candidate for Yilan County commissioner.
Chen said that being nominated marks the beginning of his responsibilities toward winning the position, adding that he would immediately demonstrate to his campaign staff his utmost sincerity in accepting the role.
He plans to consult with party members to collect their opinions and he looks forward to working with party members in the county, Chen said.
Chen was the only DPP nominee to run for Yilan County commissioner through the party’s nomination mechanism, but Acting Commissioner Derek Chen (陳金德) had also shown interest in the position, hanging billboards and speaking at the offices of 12 townships in the county over the past few months.
Derek Chen is a former chairman of CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油). He resigned from that position in August last year over a nationwide power outage. He took over as acting Yilan commissioner in November and once again came under the spotlight when he relaxed restrictions on the construction of farmhouses, giving farmers more freedoms.
The policy was seen as a direct challenge to the previous commissioner, Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢), who went on to head the Council of Agriculture.
The announcement last week by the DPP’s Central Election Commission that Chen Ou-po would be nominated caused an uproar, while Yilan County Council Speaker Chen Wen-chang (陳文昌) tried to block the nomination.
Chen Wen-chang suggested that the party’s central headquarters delay its nomination for the county until next month and bring Derek Chen on board in the election process.
He said the first task facing Chen Ou-po in the election would be to bring the party together, given the controversy surrounding his nomination.
Chen Ou-po said he hopes the party will stick together through successes and failures, and that there must be solidarity within the party if it is to move forward.
“I hope we can welcome the end of the year with a victory in the elections,” Chen Ou-po said.
Chen Ou-po said he welcomes input from professionals and county residents, and that he hopes to cooperate with others to solve the county’s problems.
“Let us put our energy into progressing with a new government,” he said.
Chen Wen-chang congratulated Chen Ou-po on his nomination, but added that the DPP might want to consider replacing him if the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) nominee for Yilan County commissioner, Lin Zi-miao (林姿妙), proves more popular in public opinion polls.
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