Mon, Oct 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

ELECTIONS: DPP plans to address weak areas

YILAN, KAOHSIUNG:The party is asking members to meet the needs of Yilan’s townships amid reports that even President Tsai Ing-wen is upset over a lack of unity

By Yang Chun-hui  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party New Taipei City mayoral candidate Su Tseng-chang, center right, waves at a campaign rally in New Taipei City on Saturday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) plans to give additional support to its candidates in Yilan County and Kaohsiung ahead of the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections, while it is confident about its prospects in Taoyuan and Hsinchu City, party sources said yesterday.

In the 2014 local elections, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) of the DPP was not considered a viable rival to then-Taoyuan mayor John Wu (吳志揚) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but he won nonetheless, allowing the DPP to take office in a city long dominated by the pan-blue camp.

The DPP is optimistic about Cheng’s re-election prospects, the sources said, adding that Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) — the nation’s youngest mayor — should likewise be re-elected after beating former Hsinchu mayor Hsu Ming-tsai (許明財) of the KMT in a surprise victory four years ago.

However, DPP Yilan county commissioner candidate Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) is having difficulty catching up to the KMT’s Lin Zi-miao (林姿妙) in the county dubbed “the holy ground of Taiwanese democracy,” the sources said.

The problem is not external factors, but internal issues, campaign workers said, adding that even President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has complained about a lack of unity among party members in the county.

The DPP is working to boost its prospects in Yilan County by asking members to attend to the needs of its 12 townships, the sources said.

For example, Council of Agriculture Minister and former Yilan County commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) would take care of Luodong Township (羅東) — Lin Zi-miao’s stronghold — while Acting Yilan County Commissioner Derek Chen (陳金德) is responsible for Suao Township (蘇澳), they said.

Meanwhile, to help DPP Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), whose support rating is at risk of falling behind that of his KMT rival, Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), former Kaohsiung mayor and Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) has been visiting the city to campaign, the sources said.

DPP supporters nationwide have been quiet compared with previous elections, the sources said, adding that reigniting passion among the party’s support base remains a challenge.

KMT New Taipei City mayoral candidate Hou You-yi (侯友宜) has been politicizing the planned Shenao power plant to attack his DPP rival, Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), but the gambit is losing steam, especially after Premier William Lai (賴清德) on Friday announced that the plan might be scrapped if the third liquefied natural gas terminal project passes an environmental impact assessment, the sources said.

While some have said that a scandal at the Transitional Justice Commission involving an alleged plan to target Hou might affect the DPP’s prospects in New Taipei City, the sources said the effect on the elections would be limited.

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