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KMT new blood unnerves incumbent 'Young Turk' in legislative primary
【Politics】2015-04-19  22:33:40
Taipei, April 19 (CNA) Billed as an injection of new blood for the Kuomintang, Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) will be advancing to the second round of the ruling party's primary for next year's legislative elections, as poll results published Sunday showed that his incumbent rival, outspoken lawmaker Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾), had failed to secure a lead of over 5 percent.

Chaing Wan-an, 37, is the son of former KMT Vice Chairman John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) and a fourth-generation descendant of former Generalissimo and President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

The ruling party's primary guideline stipulates that nominations for legislative elections are only given when a hopeful has established a lead greater than 5 percent over his or her closest rival in opinion polls.

In the absence of a clear victor, aspirants vying for the same electoral district nomination can either choose to conduct negotiations amongst themselves or enter a primary election.

Chiang Wan-an said that he had been successful in making himself known to the public since announcing his bid to run for the legislative seat for Taipei's third constituency covering the districts of Zhongshan and Songshan on March 29.

"At first nobody knew who I was, with some even saying they thought that I was a women," Chiang said, adding that his efforts in interacting with prospective voters while they are waiting for the garbage truck have paid off.

He said that in the early stage of the election, where poll results are paramount, his campaign strategy is to devote the majority of his limited resources to making his name known to the public.

As the campaign advances to the primary vote, Chiang said that prospects of the upcoming battle will be decided on new technological frontiers such as the Internet and micro donations.

Chiang said that he holds his rivals Lo Shu-lei and Taipei City Councilor Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) in high regard, but emphasized that his greatest asset is his youthfulness, which represents the direly needed injection of new blood into the beleaguered ruling party -- a sentiment that is shared by the people.

Incidentally, Chiang's bid has been described as a quest to avenge his father's defeat by Lo Shu-lei in a 2011 KMT legislative primary, which he has denied.

Chiang said that the legislative bid is his own battle, and that his father had not taken part in the campaign apart from voicing support for his decision. Chiang, however, admitted that his father had been helping with taking care of his children while he focuses on the campaign.

"My youth and my background as a lawyer are my greatest assets, as I represent a new option for the voters," he said.

A surprised Lo Shu-lei said that the KMT's electoral guideline on a scant 3-day opinion poll is defective, maintaining she had been tireless in serving her district's disadvantaged groups throughout her career as a lawmaker.

She hinted that she has obtained "some evidence" that may expose "major flaws" in the polling process, and she has informed the party leadership of her findings.

(By Wu Li-rong, Tseng Ying-yu and Ted Chen)
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