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May 29, 2017

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DPP to push back nominations for Taipei City mayor candidate

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be pushing back its Taipei mayoral candidate nominations by roughly one month following the student movement that cut into the agendas of both ruling and opposition parties in March.

Originally slated to be held in April and done by the end of the month, the DPP's candidate integration issues will have to wait until May or even well into June before the differences are resolved.

The current pan-green candidates for the position are former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), lawyer Wellington Ku (顧立雄), DPP Legislators Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and Yao Wen-chih (姚文智), all of whom are party members, and also individuals without memberships, physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and writer Feng Guang-yuan (馮光遠).

The party's election policy team reached a consensus in March that the ultimate candidate would be determined by public surveys by the end of April, which was when the Kuomintang (KMT) was set to release its candidate decision.

A week after the consensus was reached, student activists seized the Legislative Yuan, halting the DPP's slated surveys as many of its election policy team members were legislators helping out in the movement.

The DPP's Central Execution Committee ruled for the team to propose an integration plan at the committee's next meeting on April 23.

According to unnamed party members, the integration may be finished in June. The DPP has been leaning toward Ku after he volunteered to be the students' lawyer during the student-led protests, said the members, but there was also the issue of Ko to be solved. The party originally planned to launch a one-stage survey, but the possibility of a two-stage survey would need to be taken into consideration as well, noted the members.

"If a two-stage survey is to be carried out, there is the possibility that the integration process will still be unfinished when Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) steps down," said the members. The party chairman elections are due to be carried out on May 25.

The party has long been looking for a solution regarding Ko's status, as the pan-green physician has not yet decided whether he will join the DPP and run on the party ticket — if so, the DPP may need to alter its regulations to allow Ko to compete. The DPP's current regulations require a candidate to have at least two years of membership to receive the party nomination.

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