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China Times: Debacle for pan-blues in November elections?
Central News Agency
2014-09-04 12:23 PM
Many critics have recently predicted that the ruling Kuomintang (KMT)-led pan-blue camp might end up in a fiasco in the upcoming nine-in-one local elections set for Nov. 29. The predictions are mainly based on the fact that in certain localities, several KMT politicians are running without their party's nomination against KMT nominees. Also, among the five special municipalities of Taipei, New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Tainan and Taichung, all the KMT mayoral candidates are lagging behind their main rivals except for Eric Chu in New Taipei. These situations, combined with the unpopularity of President Ma Ying-jeou and the recent spate of blunders by Cabinet officials, are clearly unfavorable to the KMT. It is, however, premature to say that the KMT will suffer a debacle. The critics have drawn from the experiences of elections in 1997 and 2005. In 1997, the KMT was plagued with allegations of being politically corrupt and an internal rift, which led the party to lose almost all seats in the county elections that year. The KMT's defeat indirectly resulted in the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP's) historic victory in the 2000 presidential election -- the first transition of power since Taiwan's democratization. The DPP administration was faced with a similar situation in 2005, due mainly to tensions in its relations with China and a series of corruption scandals involving top officials. The KMT made a clean sweep of the northern and central regions during that year's local elections. There is ample room for debate on whether the experiences of 1997 and 2005 will apply to 2014. For one thing, the current situation faced by the KMT is not as bad as in 1997 or 2005. Furthermore, large-scale surveys conducted recently have shown no signs of a major shift of voter support from the KMT to the DPP. The performance of the pan-blue camp in the upcoming elections will definitely not be good, but it will not go so far as losing by a landslide to the DPP-led pan green camp. (Editorial abstract -- Sept. 4, 2014) (By Y.F. Low)
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