Cooperation among candidates from smaller political parties showed a glimmer of hope yesterday, as the New Power Party’s (NPP) Freddy Lim (林昶佐) withdrew from the legislative race in Taipei’s Daan District (大安) to make way for Fan Yun (范雲) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
In a dramatic turn of events, Lim, frontman of metal band Chthonic, declared his withdrawal within an hour of Fan officially announcing her bid for legislator yesterday morning.
Lim said he would continue his legislative campaign in another constituency in Taipei, adding that his decision would be finalized by Thursday.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
He added that withdrawing from the race could prevent the ruling “party-state interest structure” from reaping the benefits of disunity among minor parties with progressive agendas.
“Our goal has always been to bring together progressive forces and win the election,” Lim said. “In expressing openness and goodwill [toward potential allies], we require more action instead of just talk.”
The move was seen as an attempt at reconciliation, as both parties emerged from a split in the Taiwan Citizen’s Union activist group after its members encountered differences over legislative nomination mechanisms.
Earlier in the morning, Fan made official her bid to enter the legislative race for Daan, confirming months of speculation.
Along with other members of the SDP — which is to be officially launched by the end of this month — Fan vowed to introduce a new political culture centered on the public discussion of policy-oriented goals.
She said that the nation’s politics were blighted by collusion between large corporations and politicians, while the needs of underprivileged groups were constantly ignored.
Fan, a professor of sociology at National Taiwan University, has more than two decades of experience in social activism, including advocacy for women’s rights and supporting pro-democracy student movements.
As both parties were launched by veteran social activists and count prominent supporters of Taiwanese independence among their ranks, the NPP and SDP are more likely to compete for pan-green voters who lean toward the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
However, the two nascent parties have adopted markedly different attitudes toward the presidential election, which is to be held concurrently with the legislative elections in January next year.
Fan said yesterday that the SDP would not endorse any presidential candidate, as the SDP was launched precisely to voice dissatisfaction toward both major parties.
In contrast, NPP founder and human rights lawyer Lin Feng-jeng (林?正) said that his party would eventually announce its support for a presidential candidate, as “elections are always a matter of comparison.”
While the NPP has expressed its desire to forge an alliance with the DPP, Fan said that the SDP would limit its options to other minor parties, such as the environmental issue-based Green Party.
“Any kind of cooperation should be built upon common ideals; a short-term alliance based merely on winning votes does not carry much meaning,” Fan said.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,