Former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) 2020 presidential candidate, topped the party’s list of 34 legislator-at-large nominations for the Jan. 13 presidential and legislative elections, which it released yesterday.
Han, 66, became Kaohsiung mayor in December 2018, but served only for a year and a half.
He lost the 2020 presidential election to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who was seeking her second term.
Photo: Lo Pei-de, Taipei Times
Later in 2020, he was ousted as mayor in a recall election by Kaohsiung residents who were unhappy that he had run for president so soon after winning the mayorship. He became the first municipal leader in Taiwan’s history to be recalled.
However, Han is considered to be one of the more charismatic KMT members and is popular among the party’s supporters.
As he is at the top of the KMT’s legislator-at-large list, Han could become legislative speaker should the KMT and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) form a coalition and win a majority of the seats in the Legislative Yuan. It has been a long-standing practice of the KMT to list its favorite candidate for speaker as its No. 1 legislator-at-large.
Second on the list is former lawmaker Ko Chih-en (柯志恩), who represented the party in last year’s Kaohsiung mayoral election, but lost to incumbent Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the DPP. She is an expert in education and served as a dean of student affairs at Tamkang University in New Taipei City.
The KMT’s No. 3 pick is Ko Ju-chun (葛如鈞), a blockchain and non-fungible tokens expert in the Chinese-speaking world, who also hosts a podcast. He is an assistant professor at National Taiwan University.
The list also includes five experts the medical field, as well as retired navy admiral Chen Yeong-kang (陳永康).
Also on the list is Li Xia (李霞), who was born in China, but is married to a Taiwanese citizen. She runs a multicultural development association that promotes the rights of Taiwan’s new residents.
The term “new resident” refers to people who have immigrated to Taiwan.
Li is No. 17 on the list, meaning it is extremely unlikely that she will become a lawmaker.
Seventy-three of the 113 seats in the Legislative Yuan are filled by elected candidates, six are reserved for indigenous candidates elected by indigenous voters, and 34 are at-large seats allocated based on the total number of votes obtained by each political party in the legislative election.
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