Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Borough races heated, despite fewer hopefuls

Borough races heated, despite fewer hopefuls

The races for Taipei borough chief posts have been heated, with the ruling and opposition parties regarding tomorrow's elections as a prelude to the next presidential election.
A total of 930 candidates are vying for 499 posts in 12 administrative districts around the capital city. Compared with the 2002 election, the number of candidates marks a 32.73 percent decrease, which is mainly attributable to the new requirement that each hopeful pay a NT$50,000 guarantee deposit.
The deposit requirement has helped discourage those who just want to "throw a monkey wrench into the works" as the deposit is not refunded to those candidates who fail to garner 10 percentage of cast votes, according to the law.
Despite the fewer number of candidates, the races have been more heated than in past elections as both the "pan-green camp" led by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and "pan-blue alliance" led by the main opposition Kuomintang want to fortify their grass-roots support base in the runup to the 2008 presidential election, political analysts said.
The borough, or "li" in Chinese, is the lowest-level political unit in Taiwan. Each borough has an office headed by a chief who is elected by popular vote for a four-year term.
Besides fielding 61 candidates, the DPP has also allowed 102 members to join the elections as independents. Lee Cheng-yi, director of the DPP's Taipei chapter, said political parties usually have limited influence in the grass-roots borough chief elections.
"Therefore, we have permitted our members to run as independents, " Lee explained, adding that the practice may make it easier to attract unaffiliated or swing voters.
The DPP now controls only 71 Taipei borough chief posts. Encouraged by the party's better-than-expected performance in the just-concluded mayoral and city council elections, Lee said the DPP hopes to further expand its grass-roots support base in Saturday's elections.
Taipei has traditionally been a KMT stronghold, with nearly 300 serving borough chiefs being members of the party. In addition to the 308 candidates it has fielded, the KMT has also formally endorsed 71 additional members to take part in the elections. Moreover, the party is supporting the re-election bids of several incumbent independent borough chiefs who have outstanding service credentials.


Updated : 2021-05-11 13:34 GMT+08:00