DPP considers change to nomination system

By Enru Lin, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will vote on changing its selection system for political candidates this May 25, announced the party headquarters yesterday. Currently, the major opposition party’s bids in elections are chosen through a nationwide opinion poll, according to DPP’s “Regulations on the Nomination of Candidates for Public Office” (公職候選人提名條例). The Central Executive Committee passed an informal proposal yesterday to incorporate feedback from registered party members. Under the proposal, candidates are chosen with a weighted formula based on 70 percent poll votes and 30 percent party votes, according to DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲). “We have decided to submit two proposals for a (National Party Congress) vote. The first keeps the selection system exclusively based on opinion polls, which is the way it is now. The second proposal restores the vote of party members into the process,” said Lin in Taipei yesterday. A third proposal — a two-tiered selection based on petitions by local chapter members and a subsequent opinion poll — was considered but rejected by the Central Executive Committee yesterday. The committee also ruled to hold a National Party Congress over the nomination system on May 25. “The earlier the congress decides on a system, the more time potential nominees have to develop their strategy for the primaries,” said Lin. At a National Party Congress last July, representatives had agreed to consider changes to the “Regulations on the Nomination of Candidates for Public Office.” At the meet, supporters of bringing back the party vote said that relying on public opinion polls alienates DPP members. Meanwhile, detractors voiced concern that the Kuomintang may use “proxy members” to manipulate the DPP primaries. Taiwan’s major opposition party is looking to adjust sails ahead of the 2014 local elections, which votes on special municipality mayors and councilors; county magistrates and city mayors; local councilors; township chiefs and councilors; and borough wardens and village chiefs.