The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will turn its attention to central Taiwan next week for a four-day celebration of its founding, despite the political turmoil in the legislature.
Several events have been scheduled in Greater Taichung, Nantou County and Changhua County from Wednesday to Saturday next week to celebrate the anniversary of its founding on Sept. 28, 1986, and to drum up support in a region seen as the key battleground in next year’s seven-in-one elections.
While the three cities and counties are governed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the DPP is optimistic that it could win any of them if recent developments in those places work in its favor.
The KMT has expressed concerns about retaining the three constituencies, with Nantou County Commissioner Lee Chao-ching (李朝卿) and Changhua County Commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) both embroiled in corruption scandals, while Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu’s (胡志強) performance has been criticized.
Top DPP members are scheduled to attend the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday, which will be held in Greater Taichung instead of Taipei, and then move on to Nantou County and Changhua County on a two-day inspection trip of DPP-governed townships, districts and villages. They will then return to Greater Taichung for a massive rally at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, DPP spokesperson Wang min-sheng (王閔生) said yesterday.
“With the theme of ‘New green deal,’ the idea of this year’s anniversary is to show people that the DPP has always been able to have good governance both at the local level and the national level,” Wang said.
At a recent four-part forum the party conducted a review of its performance when it was in power between 2000 and 2008, and concluded that it deserved to be proud of its achievements, even though there were many areas where it could have done better.
However, the DPP does have one problem in central Taiwan — a surplus of would-be candidates for next year’s elections.
Changhua County has emerged as one of the most fiercely contested constituencies, with five DPP members showing an interest in becoming the party’s nominee for county commissioner, including Legislator Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷); former county commissioner Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠); former legislators Chiang Chao-yi (江昭儀) and Chen Chin-ting (陳進丁); and Changhua Mayor Chiu Chien-fu (邱建富).
DPP headquarters asked former party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to mediate between the aspirants, but the rivals decided on their own to try and whittle down the list of potential candidates by commissioning several one-on-one opinion polls.
Chiang Chao-yi (江昭儀) and Chen Chin-ting (陳進丁) have agreed to conduct a telephone survey on Thursday and Friday next week, while Wei Ming-ku and Chiu Chien-fu are set for a telephone poll on Oct. 7 and 8.
Strong competition is also expected in Greater Taichung, where legislators Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), and former presidential running mate Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) have all said they are interested in running for mayor.
In Nantou County, Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) and two former lawmakers, Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) and Tang Huo-shen (湯火聖), are expected to fight to be the party’s candidate for the post of county commissioner.