Taiwan parties to announce legislator-at-large nominees for 2020 elections

DPP and NPP at-large legislative candidates come different fields, including technology, finance, and environment

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Former DPP Chairman Yu Shui-kin likely to be nominated as legislative-at-large candidate

Former DPP Chairman Yu Shui-kin likely to be nominated as legislative-at-large candidate (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's three major political parties are slated to nominate candidates for legislator-at-large seats this week ahead of the Jan. 11 elections, with most of them being young professionals.

The New Power Party (NPP) on Tuesday (Nov. 12) revealed a list of 12 candidates running for legislator-at-large seats, including high-profile engineer and entrepreneur Ben Jai (翟本喬), accountant and former SinoPac Securities CFO Melody Wang (王幗英), former Taiwan Institute of Economic Research Associate Research Fellow Bai Ching-feng (白卿芬), and Pingtung Christian Hospital's neurologist-in-chief Chan Chin-chun (詹智鈞).

Former NPP Chairman Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智), environmental activist Dr. Chen Chiao-hua (陳椒華), legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), and judicial activist Wang Wan-yu (王婉諭), whose 5-year-old daughter was murdered in an attack on a downtown Taipei street, are listed in the top four spots believed to be most likely to win. The party will officially nominate the candidates after a three-day primary vote.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to nominate 34 candidates for legislator-at-large seats on Wednesday (Nov. 13) after a Central Executive Committee meeting. Observers estimate that the top 14 candidates are most likely to win, including former Taiwan Indigenous Television anchor Tuhi Martukaw (洪簡廷卉), Green Action Alliance Deputy Secretary-General Hung Shen-han (洪申翰), National Taiwan University professor Fan Yun (范雲), physician-turned lawmaker Chiu Tai-yuan (邱泰源), and judge-turned lawmaker Chou Chun-mi (周春米).

The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party is expected to officially nominate 34 candidates for legislator-at-large seats. They include former Central Police University professor Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭), former Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman William Tseng (曾銘宗), former KMT spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文), KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), and pro-Han Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-jie (謝龍介).

The KMT's slate of candidates, however, has already drawn the ire of blue-leaning political commentator and Pop Radio talk show host Huang Wei-han (黃暐瀚), as two of the candidates are poised to run for county magistrate in three years, while the absence of Cambodian-born legislator Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬) from the lineup might receive frowns from the 550,000 new immigrants across the country.

UP Media reported that the average age of KMT candidates is 65, which is rather old compared to the DPP and NPP's nominees.