CEC picks November 29 as election date
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-21 05:41 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – November 29 has been chosen as the day for the regional and local elections, the Central Election Commission announced Tuesday.

Polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day to allow voters all over Taiwan to elect their mayors, county magistrates and local councilors. The elections are known as ‘seven-in-one’ because political offices at seven different levels of government will be filled. The CEC decision still has to be vetted by the Executive Yuan.

The candidacies for mayor of six major special cities have received the most attention, with the opposition Democratic Progressive Party trying to profit from the high unpopularity of President Ma Ying-jeou and his Kuomintang to expand its number of mayoral seats from two to more than three.

The opposition party also wants to win more than half of other city mayor and county magistrate races.

Recent polls show DPP incumbents Chen Chu in Kaohsiung and William Lai in Tainan almost certain of victory. Taoyuan County Magistrate John Wu leads in the polls to become the first mayor of the new Taoyuan City when it is upgraded to a special municipality at the time of the election.

The races in Taipei City, New Taipei City and Taichung City look more unpredictable. In Taichung, incumbent Jason Hu only recently admitted he was likely to run for another term after more than 12 years in office. DPP candidate Lin Chia-lung has led Hu by 20 percent in some recent surveys.

In the capital, neither major party has selected a candidate yet. On the KMT side, Sean Lien, the son of former Vice President Lien Chan, is likely to announce next month whether or not he will run, while some lawmakers and city councilors from his party have already done so.

The DPP has three contenders for the nomination, but its choice has been complication by the strong emergence in the polls of independent doctor Ko Wen-je. He has said he might wait until March to announce whether or not he will join the opposition party, a course of action most other DPP contenders have insisted on. Ko reportedly fears that his campaign for an opposition alliance against the KMT will suffer if he joins the DPP.

The main opposition party has nominated former Premier Yu Shyi-kun to run for mayor in New Taipei City, but it is not certain yet whether incumbent Eric Liluan Chu will run for a second term or concentrate on preparing for an eventual presidential bid in 2016.

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