The nation’s political parties are weighing the possible effects on legislative elections of a failure by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) to strike a deal for a joint presidential ticket.
Friday marked the last day of candidacy registration for both presidential and legislative elections next year.
According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), 315 legislative candidates have registered to compete for 73 seats in the single-member districts, while 16 political parties registered their lists, with 178 nominees, for 34 at-large seats.
Photo courtesy of Huang’s campaign office
There will also be three lawmakers elected by members of the lowland indigenous people constituency and three by the highland indigenous people constituency.
For the at-large seats, the KMT, the TPP and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) all registered to the fullest extent of 34 candidates.
Smaller parties registered modestly, with the People First Party submitting a list of 10, the New Power Party and the New Party both eight, and the Taiwan Statebuilding Party with seven.
For the 73 districts of the country, the DPP nominated 69 candidates, the KMT 65 and the TPP 10, among others.
DPP party insiders said the party faced an uphill battle to retain its legislative majority.
In 10 to 15 districts, DPP candidates face fierce competition due to factors such as a division in the pro-DPP camp, or grudges remaining from the party primaries.
Photo: Peng Chien-li, Taipei Times
The breakdown of the KMT-TPP joint presidential ticket might benefit the DPP in those districts where the combined support for the KMT and the TPP is greater than that for the DPP, such as the Taipei and New Taipei, a DPP source said.
A KMT source said that the breakup was expected to have little impact on the outcome in KMT or DPP safe seats and the most affected districts would be those that the KMT has even odds of winning.
Neither the DPP nor the KMT seems to expect to achieve a majority in the legislature, with each aiming for 50 seats in the 113-member chamber.
There is still a possibility of the KMT and the TPP cooperating in the parliament, so long as “a total war” is not waged, the two sides can still compete under the tacit understanding of maximizing the non-DPP faction, a KMT source said.
The TPP has only entered two races, one in Kaohsiung and one in Taichung, outside its base in northern Taiwan.
The TPP’s other district candidates are in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Yilan County, Kinmen County and Lienchiang County (Matsu), where they will meet competition from both major parties. TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) younger sister Ko Mei-lan (柯美蘭) is running in Hsinchu City as an independent.
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