Over 300 candidates registered for legislative elections - Focus Taiwan

Over 300 candidates registered for legislative elections

Taipei, Jan. 5 (CNA) More than 300 candidates will vie for 73 directly elected seats in Taiwan's Legislature in national elections on Jan.16, over 30 percent more than four years ago, the Central Election Commission announced on Tuesday.

A total of 354 district legislative candidates -- including those from the ruling Kuomintang and the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party -- have registered to compete to represent Taiwan's 73 electoral districts, compared with 269 in the 2012 elections.

Several new parties have also nominated candidates in the legislative elections, including the New Power Party, the Minkuotang, and the Faith and Hope League.

Many of the parties were formed in 2015 because of dissatisfaction with the performances of the existing major parties.

Taiwan's Legislative Yuan has a total of 113 seats. In addition to the 73 legislative seats that will be elected in "first-past-the-post" races, there are six seats reserved for aboriginal candidates and the other 34 seats go to at-large legislators.

The at-large seats will be allocated in proportion to the share of a separate vote for political parties that each party gets, but a party must get at least 5 percent of the vote to qualify for seats.

A total of 18 political parties are competing for at-large seats, including the KMT, the DPP, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, the People First Party and the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, which are all currently represented in the Legislature.

Other parties vying for spots include the Free Taiwan Party, Peace the Pigeon Union Party, the Military, Civil Servants and Faculty Alliance Party, the Minkuotang, the Faith and Hope League, the New Power Party, the union of the Green Party and Social Democratic Party, the Taiwan Independence Party, the Trees Party, and the New Party.

●For a look of the 18 parties: Story 1 / Story 2 / Story 3

In 2012, only 11 parties nominated candidates for at-large legislative seats. Because of the large increase in the number of participating parties, the ballot for the political party vote has increased in size to 73 centimeters long and 15cm wide.

Meanwhile, 23 aboriginal candidates are competing for the six legislative seats reserved for aboriginal representatives in this year's elections.

In the 2012 legislative elections, the KMT won 64 seats and the DPP garnered 40 seats. The minority PFP and TSU each won three seats, the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union won two, and the remaining seat went to an independent.

(By Tai Ya-chen and Elaine Hou)ENDITEM/ls

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