Ex-Health Minister to represent DPP in Chiayi mayoral race
KMT picks woman university president in Tainan
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-18 04:30 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Department of Health Minister Twu Shiing-jer will be the opposition candidate in November’s election for mayor of Chiayi City, the Democratic Progressive Party announced Tuesday.

Voters all over Taiwan will be choosing city mayors, county magistrates and local councilors on November 29. Most of the major nominees, especially in the DPP, are being selected by holding opinion polls, often comparing them to their main opponents.

According to the Chiayi City survey, Twu would outpoll the main Kuomintang candidate, former National Youth Commission Minister Chen Yi-chen, by at least 10 percent. He would also defeat a third candidate, independent former KMT member Hsiao Shu-li, reports said. Hsiao hails from an influential local faction and heads a farmers association. The two other DPP contenders, city councilor Huang Lu-huei and human rights lawyer Tseng Ching-yuan, ended up behind Twu, who enjoys national recognition as a former minister and lawmaker.

If elected mayor in November, Twu would be the southern Taiwanese city’s first male mayor in 32 years.

Chiayi City is also a KMT ‘island’ in a region dominated by DPP regional governments.

In Tainan City, where DPP Mayor William Lai is running for a second term, the local KMT announced it had drafted Tainan University President Huang Hsiu-shuang to try and unseat the popular incumbent. Tainan and Kaohsiung are widely regarded as DPP strongholds.

Huang has been working at the university for 20 years, and it was only after President Ma Ying-jeou asked for her opinion about entering politics that she agreed, reports said.

A reported decision by the Tainan City Government to end cooperation with the university on developing a sports arena also played a role, she said.

The DPP has said it wants to win at least three out of six special municipalities. With Tainan and Kaohsiung almost certain to be held, Taichung has emerged as the key to realizing opposition hopes. DPP lawmaker Lin Chia-lung is reportedly performing well in opinion polls against KMT incumbent Mayor Jason Hu, who only announced his re-election bid last week.

In New Taipei City, former Premier Yu Shyi-kun represents the DPP, though KMT incumbent Eric Liluan Chu has not announced yet whether he will run for re-election.

In Taipei City, the nomination process for both sides has proven difficult. Several contenders vie for the KMT nomination, while the DPP with its five hopefuls faces the extra problem of how to cooperate with independent Ko Wen-je, who leads opinion polls on the opposition side.

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