by Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The new majority at the Legislative Yuan after the January 16 election should not be held by the Democratic Progressive Party on its own, but by several “pro-green” parties, the small Free Taiwan Party said Saturday.
DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen holds a commanding lead in the presidential election scheduled for the same day, but the party also wants to gain control of the Legislature for the first time, with or without its allies.
One of those is the newly formed Free Taiwan Party, chaired by activist professor Tsay Ting-kuei, a frequent leader of protests in favor of referendums and against KMT policies.
FTP legislative candidate Janice Chen said she had no problem with Tsai winning the presidential election and with the DPP becoming the ruling party, but at the Legislative Yuan, more diversity was needed.
Smaller pro-green parties could have a review function, taking a closer look at government decisions and proposing different solutions to problems, Chen said. If the most powerful party went off in the wrong direction, the smaller groups could point this out and use their influence to get the government back on the right track, she explained.
The FTP on Saturday presented a list of six candidates for the at-large seats of the Legislative Yuan. Those are seats determined by the percentage each party obtains in the national vote. Citizens cannot pick candidates directly, with their election or not determined by their place on the list.
The FTP slate includes Chen, prominent doctor Kuo Cheng-tien, and people with backgrounds in the media, religion, education and local politics. The party also has one candidate for a direct election in Miaoli County.
Several of the candidates are close supporters of former President Chen Shui-bian, who was sentenced to 20 years on corruption charges but was freed on medical parole earlier this year. One of the FTP’s demands is reportedly an amnesty for the former DPP leader.
FTP candidates said the main opposition party was already certain of too many votes, so citizens should cast their ballot for the at-large seats in favor of the smaller party.