The New Power Party (NPP) revealed on Thursday its first list of candidates who will be running for city and county councilor positions in the local government elections scheduled for November, but it declined to confirm whether it would field any mayoral candidates.
At a press conference in Taipei, the NPP announced that it had selected 10 individuals, seven men and three women, to run for councilor positions in Taipei, New Taipei, and Taoyuan cities, as well as Yilan and Hualien counties.
The NPP “hopes to bring more young talents into local councils,” legislator and NPP chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said, adding that the party aimed to field as many as 50 city and county councilor candidates across Taiwan.
The party is expected to announce more candidates in the following weeks, including incumbent councilors seeking re-election, Chen said.
NPP Secretary-General Christy Pai (白卿芬) noted that it took the party a long time to come up with “the best candidates” who were prominent in fields such as activism, politics, and social services.
The 10 candidates revealed Thursday included former diplomat Liu Shih-chieh (劉仕傑), who is currently the NPP’s director of international affairs.
Liu, 41, said that if he were elected as a Taipei City councilor, he would focus on promoting the capital’s bilingual education and try to address traffic and safety problems in the city.
Meanwhile, Wu Hsiang-chun (吳香君), a founding member of the NPP who has worked in the party’s past election campaigns for eight years, will run for city councilor in New Taipei’s Xinzhuang District.
Wu said, without elaborating, that she had ideas and plans for city reform due to her experience working alongside legislators and city councilors, and that she hoped to bring those ideas to fruition.
Wu has fought for the rights of the disabled people, including those with hearing loss, legislator Wang Wan-yu (王婉諭) said, adding that her dedication to social issues would bring more positive changes to the New Taipei City Council.
Asked whether the party would put up mayoral candidates for the November elections, the NPP chairwoman said that “we certainly hope to have our own candidates.”
Chen acknowledged that Hsinchu is where the NPP is most likely to field a mayoral candidate, noting “a lot of people have been encouraging” one of the party’s legislators Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) to run for the position.
She added that the party was still assessing the situation and specifically mentioned a recent campaign initiated by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for a merger of Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County and for the combined region to be upgraded to a special municipality.
The NPP has enjoyed stronger support in the Hsinchu region than in any other place in Taiwan given that four of its 11 councilors across Taiwan are in the region.
According to Chen, the NPP does not rule out the possibility of collaborating with other parties in the mayoral elections.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel