Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安), the son of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) and a fourth-generation descendant of former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), on Sunday announced that he would run in the KMT’s legislative primary in Taipei’s Zhongshan (中山) and Songshan (松山) districts, pitting himself against incumbent KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) and KMT Taipei City Councilor Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇).
Chiang Wan-an’s bid for the candidacy has been described by pundits as an attempt to avenge his father’s defeat at the hands of Lo in a 2011 KMT legislative primary.
Chiang Wan-an, 37, rejected the accusation, saying that there was no animosity between his family and Lo.
Photo: Tsai Ya-hua, Taipei Times
The nation has changed since the Sunflower movement and the nine-in-one elections last year, and young people need to step forward and bolster the KMT after the party suffered its greatest defeat in last year’s elections, Chiang Wan-an said.
Chiang Wan-an, who holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, has been working as a lawyer in the US and is a partner in a Taiwanese law firm. He said that he does not have dual citizenship when reporters asked him about his nationality.
Meanwhile, the KMT’s Taipei branch said competition for the party’s legislative candidacy in Neihu (內湖) and Nangang (南港) districts is heated, with eight aspirants joining the primary after incumbent KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) announced that he would not seek re-election.
Among the eight aspirants are former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) and former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀).
The party’s regulations state that where there is only one registered candidate in a constituency, the candidate would be automatically nominated for the next year’s legislative elections, but if more than two contenders vie with an incumbent lawmaker for the party’s nomination, the incumbent has to pass an assessment, win a poll by a 5 percent margin and be approved by a nomination panel to secure the candidacy.
The nomination mechanism has been criticized by KMT Taipei City Councilor Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元) as lacking transparency, saying that the party is biased toward incumbents, and that it has not yet expounded on the methodology used in the assessment and poll.
“Should not incumbent legislators be held accountable [for the KMT’s rout in last year’s nine-in-one elections]? Will the public be satisfied when it sees the same old faces running the legislature again?” Lee said.
Lee said he declined to sign up for the primary as a protest against the party’s policy.
The list of members wishing to take part in the primaries was submitted to KMT headquarters yesterday, the Taipei branch said.
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