Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸), one of five constituency legislative candidates representing the New Power Party (NPP) that was formed last year, defeated veteran Legislator Yang Chiung-Ying (楊瓊瓔) of the Kuomintang (KMT) in Taichung City's third electoral district Saturday.
The victory of Hung, a newbie in politics, was symbolic of the wider defeat of the KMT and the rise of the NPP, which is seeking to offer an alternative to the long established "pan-blue" and "pan-green" camps.
The NPP is part of the so-called "Third Force" phenomenon that emerged in the wake of last year's "Sunflower Movement," a student-led protest against a trade-in-services agreement with China. The party has said it is devoted to the pursuit of equality, justice and environmental sustainability in Taiwan.
"Let's use this election to bring people's voices to the parliament," Hung said in declaring victory.
According to the Central Election Commission, Hung won with 93,451 votes (53.87 percent) against Yang's 78,334 (45.16 percent) in a three-way race.
Hung, 33, is the sister of Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), a solider whose high-profile death three years ago turned the spotlight on social justice in Taiwan.
The 23-year-old conscript died of heat exhaustion on July 4, 2013 after being forced to do strenuous exercise in a detention facility that he should not have been confined to in the first place.
Hung Chung-chiu's death raised questions of human rights violations in the military, sparked mass protests in Taiwan, led to the prosecution of several military officials and spurred major legal reforms such as the abolition of military courts during peacetime.
The amended law also stipulated that military personnel under punishment or filing an appeal against punishment should not be subjected to discrimination or unfair treatment.
In her manifesto, Hung Tzu-yung said she hoped her election bid would encourage greater public participation in politics.
She said she hoped that the younger generation in particular would become more involved in social reform, and she vowed to bring grassroots power to the Legislature.
Yang, 51, is a veteran lawmaker who was running for a sixth term in the Legislature.
Her platform showed her strong knowledge of local infrastructure development, including highway extensions and drainage system improvement.
She also vowed to enhance the local education system and create job opportunities for the youth.
Hung had been locked in a see-saw battle with Yang, who in 2012 won 57 percent of the votes cast in the constituency that comprises Houli, Shengang, Daya and Tanzi districts.
The third candidate in the constituency was Huang Hsin-chi (黃信吉) of the Military Civil Faculty Alliance Party (MCFAP) (軍公教聯盟黨), which is known for its proposal to reform Taiwan's pension system by seizing all of what it calls the KMT's ill-gotten assets and putting them into a national pension fund.
Huang, 59, had said in his campaign that his main focus was to help disadvantaged groups.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin; click here for the full coverage of the elections.)ENDITEM/pc