DPP councilor worried about cooperation with PFP

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Democratic Progressive Party member of the Taipei City Council expressed concern Wednesday about the party’s alleged willingness to cooperate with the People First Party in next year’s legislative elections.
The DPP’s Central Executive Committee was meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the nomination process for candidates in the January 16 election in certain districts where choices have been hard to make.
As the CEC was discussing the cases, Taipei City Councilor Kao Chia-yu appeared at the DPP headquarters to protest against what she called the party’s imminent decision not to name a candidate in the capital’s Nangang and Neihu legislative district, but to cooperate with the PFP.
The PFP was not a force for progress, so the DPP should not be holding secret talks with that party, Kao said. She pointed out that PFP Chairman James Soong might announce a presidential bid in August, so if the DPP did not name a candidate for the district, it might lose votes in both the presidential and legislative elections there.
The PFP has traditionally been regarded as part of the “blue” Kuomintang-led camp, even though some of its leading members have been critical of the government, especially during the campaign for last November’s mayoral and local elections.
Kao claimed that key members of the DPP’s committee in charge of the candidate selection process had secretly met leaders of the PFP, including Soong’s secretary.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the CEC decided to name Taipei City Councilor Wu Szu-yao as the candidate for the Shilin-Beitou legislative district. The main opposition party has come under fire from its former chairman, Lin Yi-hsiung, for planning to name city councilors who were only elected last November and took up their posts in December. The councilor targeted by Lin, Liang Wen-chieh, gave up his intention to run in the Neihu-Nangang district as a result of the criticism, but the CEC did not approve his decision, instead sending the local candidacy issue to negotiation with potential independent candidates.
The DPP also still has to consider how to cooperate with representatives of last year’s Sunflower Movement who now want to run for legislative seats. The party was reportedly not going to name a candidate for the area in Taichung where Hung Tzu-yung, the sister of Hung Chung-chiu, the military conscript whose death in the military caused a furor last year, was standing. Former student leader Fan Yun, who is now leading the Social Democratic Party, and Tree Party candidate Pan Han-shen might also benefit from DPP support in Taipei City constituencies, reports said.
In Hsinchu County, the DPP will support independent Cheng Yung-chin, who ran the county as KMT magistrate for eight years before opposing his successor.
The main opposition party’s aim is not only to win the presidential election for its chairwoman, Tsai Ing-wen, but also to gain control for the first time of a working majority at the 113-seat Legislative Yuan.