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New faces to enter Taiwan's Legislature as young generation rises

2016/01/17 17:58:07

New Power Party's Freddy Lim (left) and Huang Kuo-chang.

Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) Many new faces were elected Saturday to Taiwan's 113-seat Legislature, some of them first-time candidates that beat veteran legislators, as voters in those constituencies pinned their hopes on a younger generation.

One of the noteworthy developments was the performance of the New Power Party (NPP), which emerged after the 2014 Sunflower Movement and managed to win five legislative seats Saturday. It will be the third largest party in the Legislature after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which won 68 seats, and the Kuomintang with 35.

When the new Legislature opens in February, NPP Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) will be one of the first-time candidates taking a seat. Huang, 42, defeated veteran KMT incumbent lawmaker Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) in a constituency in New Taipei.

Huang beats KMT incumbent in New Taipei's 12th district

Huang entered the public arena in 2014 as a leader of the "Sunflower Movement" that was protesting against a trade-in-services agreement with China and he quit his job at Academia Sinica last year to pursue a political career.

In September last year, he became chairman of the NPP, which was founded with the goal of offering an alternative to the long established "pan-blue" and "pan-green" camps.

In his victory speech Saturday, Huang vowed to help "win back this country, restore the pride and expectations of Taiwan, and ensure the future of the next generation."

[Hung Tzu-yung (in yellow vest) campaigns with Tsai Ing-wen last September.]

Another political rookie is 33-year-old Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸), also of the NPP, who defeated veteran KMT Legislator Yang Chiung-Ying (楊瓊瓔) to win a seat in the central city of Taichung.

Hung Tzu-yung unseats KMT veteran legislator in Taichung

Hung is the sister of Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), a solider whose high-profile death in 2013 turned the spotlight on social justice in Taiwan. "Let's use this election to bring the people's voices to the parliament," the newly elected lawmaker said in her victory speech.

The NPP also scored a victory with Freddy Lim (林昶佐), the lead vocalist of the heavy-metal band Chthonic, who won a legislative seat for the first time in Saturday's elections.

Heavy metal star Freddy Lim elected legislator

In a battle in a Taipei constituency, Lim beat six-term KMT lawmaker Lin Yu-fang (林郁方), an expert on national defense and foreign affairs issues.

The 39-year-old-singer is best known for his eye-catching stage costumes and staunch pro-independence stance.

[Chiang Wan-an (left) campaign with Eric Chu in December.]

Among the more established political parties, there were also some new faces, including Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安), the 37-year-old grandson of Taiwan's late President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).

Chiang Ching-kuo's grandson declares win in legislative race

In a crowded field of 10 hopefuls, Chiang edged out his main competitor, independent candidate Pan Chien-chih (潘建志), to win a seat for the KMT in Taipei.

Chiang, a lawyer specializing in business law, vowed during his campaign to push for looser regulations on foreign investment in Taiwan to boost the country's economic development.

On the DPP benches, incumbent Taipei City councilor Wu Szu-yao (吳思瑤) will be one of the first-time legislators, having defeated Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), a seven-term legislator of the KMT, in a Taipei constituency.

"I pledge to transcend the old thinking characterized by the blue-green divide that had plunged Taiwan into an endless fight over ethnic groups, bloodlines and partisan interests," said Wu, 41. "I will be a representative of Taiwan's new politics."

[Su Chiao-hui (left) and her father travel in a motorcade in New Taipei Jan. 17 to thank voters for their support.]

Another DPP newcomer is lawyer Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧), the daughter of former Premier and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌). She won in New Taipei against the KMT's Huang Chih-hsiung (黃志雄), a three-term legislator and former Taekwondo athlete.

Former premier's daughter wins seat in legislature

One of the younger DPP candidates, 27-year-old Lu Sun-ling (呂孫綾) beat KMT Legislator Wu Yu-Sheng (吳育昇), a 57-year-old who was seeking a fourth term.

Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬), a Cambodian woman married to a Taiwanese, is another noteworthy new face in the Legislature. She was on the KMT's list of nominees for at-large legislators and will hold one of the 11 at-large seats allocated to the party.

(By Elaine Hou)