TAIPEI (CNA) — The People First Party (PFP), a small opposition party in Taiwan, on Wednesday announced its legislator-at-large nominees for the 2020 elections, which included two of billionaire Terry Gou’s (郭台銘) top aides.
On the 22 nominee list, Amanda Liu (劉宥彤) and Tsai Chin-yu (蔡沁瑜), two of Gou’s top aides have been placed in fourth and ninth spots, respectively, on the PFP candidate list, indicating a cooperative relationship between the party and Gou, who withdrew from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and dropped his presidential bid in September after losing in the KMT’s presidential primary to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in July.
Liu currently serves as chief executive officer of the non-profit Yonglin Foundation set up by Gou, who is the founder of Taiwan manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., while Tsai is deputy CEO of the foundation.
In addition to Liu and Tsai, the PFP also named John Hsuan (宣明智), Honorary Vice Chairman of contract chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp. as a legislator-at-large candidate, placing him in third spot.
Hsuan is considered one of Gou’s close friends, and the nomination provides further evidence of cooperation between the PFP and Gou.
On Nov. 13, PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) announced his presidential bid at a press conference, with Liu and Tsai in attendance, raising speculation about their cooperation.
At the news conference, Soong said the PFP’s slate of legislator-at-large candidates would see the “shadow of Gou,” implying the possible inclusion of Gou supporters, adding both he and Gou love the Republic of China, feel strongly about local economic development, and see maintaining peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait as the most important issue.
In response to the nomination, Hsuan said for many years Soong has strongly urged him to jump into the lawmaker elections as a legislator-at-large, while Gou’s push was a key reason he accepted the PFP nomination.
Hsuan said the three placed much emphasis on good policies to facilitate Taiwan’s development, and the Legislative Yuan plays an important role in coming up with good policies.
When asked whether he represents Gou’s camp, Hsuan said he represents himself as well as the local high tech sector.
On top of the PFP nomination list is Secretary General of the league For Persons With Disabilities Teng Hsi-hua (滕西華), followed by incumbent PFP lawmaker-at-large Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞, No. 2), incumbent PFP legislator-at-large Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔, No. 5), director of the PFP organization department Chang Shuo-wen (張碩文, No. 6), former president of Mackay Memorial Hospital Shih Shou-chuan (施壽全, No. 7), advisor to the military reserve officer group the Republic of China General Association of Qingxi Hai-tung (李海同, No. 8), and Kao Han (高翰, No. 10), an indigenous musician.
In the Legislature, 73 of the 113 seats are filled by means of direct elections in the nation’s constituencies, six are reserved for indigenous candidates elected by indigenous voters, and 34 are at-large seats decided on a separate ballot in which voters select their preferred political party.
A party must gain at least 5 percent of the total number of votes cast to qualify for at-large seats.
Currently, the PFP has three seats in the Legislative Yuan and all of the three are lawmakers-at-large.
Taiwan’s legislative and presidential elections are scheduled for Jan. 11, 2020.
By Kuo Chien-sheng and Frances Huang