Huang wins DPP polls in Tainan mayoral primary

FIERCE BATTLE::Legislator Chen Ting-fei, who also stood in the primary, said she would not retract a lawsuit filed against accusations by Huang amid intense competition

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Mar 09, 2018 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) yesterday celebrated a landslide victory against five competitors in the party’s primary opinion polls for Tainan for the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.

The DPP announced the combined results of three opinion polls conducted by telephone on Wednesday, which showed Huang crushing his rivals, DPP legislators Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) and Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津), as well as former Tainan deputy mayor Yen Chun-tso (顏純左) and former DPP legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅).

Huang received support from 41.58 percent of respondents, easily outrunning Chen’s 28.17 percent, followed by Yen’s 6.72 percent, Wang’s 5.13 percent, Lee’s 2.11 percent and Yeh’s 0.76 percent.

Huang thanked supporters while calling for party unity given the rhetoric-laden mudslinging competition that developed between candidates.

“I feel surprise and the weight of responsibility,” Huang said. “My original principle remains unchanged. It is a competition between party members, not infighting.”

He said he would seek support from his rivals after the DPP approves the nomination and urged other candidates to look past their feuds and pledge their support to him to secure the city for the party.

During the campaign, candidates hurled accusations against each other on an almost daily basis, forcing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who doubles as the party’s chairperson, to announce a prohibition on slander and mudslinging.

Some candidates were criticized for aligning with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) politicians with a history of corruption or involvement with organized crime, while others were accused of drawing funds from China.

Also thanking her supporters, Chen said that she was a major target of slander during the competition, but her reputation survived unscathed.

However, her decision to refrain from criticizing her competitors might have been wrong, Chen said.

Asked whether she would help Huang campaign for mayor, Chen said she would not rule out the possibility, but Huang would first need to bridge the rift between the candidates.

Chen would not withdraw a lawsuit she filed against Huang’s campaign office director for implicating her in a business fraud case, she said.

Yen and Wang congratulated Huang and called for party solidarity ahead of the elections.

Media reports of Huang’s polling victory came out before the DPP officially announced the results, sparking speculation that the party leaked the information.

The DPP denied the allegations, saying the selection process had been fair.

The DPP is scheduled to officially nominate Huang as the party’s Tainan mayoral candidate, DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) as its Kaohsiung mayoral candidate and former deputy minister of agriculture Weng Chang-liang (翁章梁) as Chiayi County commissioner candidate on Wednesday.