DPP candidate confident about New Taipei
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-17 05:04 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Premier Yu Shyi-kun expressed confidence Tuesday about opinion polls planned for later this month to select a common opposition candidate for mayor of New Taipei City.

Taiwan Solidarity Union Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia is also running in the November 29 election for the position now held by ruling Kuomintang Vice Chairman Eric Liluan Chu.

As the Democratic Progressive Party was preparing to approve independent surgeon Ko Wen-je as the candidate it backs for mayor in neighboring Taipei City, the main opposition party said Monday it would apply a similar method using opinion surveys to reconcile Yu and Lin.

The DPP’s Central Executive Committee was widely expected to approve the choice of Ko as the joint opposition candidate during a meeting Wednesday afternoon. At the same time, it was expected to work out the details for the selection of a New Taipei City candidate.

In Taipei City, the DPP first had its own party members compete with each other in a first round of polls. The winner, lawmaker Yao Wen-chih, was pitted against Ko, who won the final round of three opinion surveys last week after several live debates.

Wednesday’s CEC meeting was expected to decide whether there would be public debates between Yu and Lin in the run-up to opinion polls.

While the KMT has nominated Sean Lien in Taipei City, it was still not entirely clear whether Chu would run for re-election in New Taipei City or focus entirely on an eventual presidential bid for the 2016 election. Recent reports have indicated that he might try and stay on as mayor and run for president while holding on to his local function despite expected attacks from the opposition.

The opinion polls used by the DPP to pick a candidate compare the opposition contenders to the KMT nominee. While in Taipei both Ko and Yao reportedly outpolled Lien, the trend in New Taipei was less clear, reports said. Lin said Tuesday that the opposition candidate should be able to win 100,000 votes more than Chu, while Yu said the DPP should try to mobilize all forces possible to achieve victory.

According to Yu, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei recently approached DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen with a request to combine opposition forces in New Taipei City.

The DPP wants to win more than half of the six special municipalities, a cause helped by the deep unpopularity of the KMT and of its chairman, President Ma Ying-jeou. Taipei and New Taipei are nevertheless still considered to be strongholds of the ruling party, moving the DPP to seek alliances with independents and small parties.

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