Taipei, Nov. 20 (CNA) The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Central Committee formally confirmed 31 of its 34 nominees for legislator- at-large positions Wednesday.
The confirmation came after former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao's (張顯耀) No. 17 listing was voted down by a 57-106 margin and the delisting of KMT Central Standing Committee member Fan Cheng-lien (范成連) and Shi Xueyan (史雪燕), the head of an association of Chinese spouses of Taiwanese citizens.
Fan announced a day earlier that he was voluntarily standing down from his No. 19 spot on the list because he wants to concentrate on doing business in China, while Shi was delisted because she failed to pay a deposit of NT$200,000 (US$6,600) to register her candidacy.
The KMT announced its nominees for at-large legislative seats Nov. 13, with former Central Police University Professor Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) topping the list.
However, the party revised its list two days later following criticism from top figures in the party, as well as from its newer and younger members. In the revised list, Yeh, who has stoked controversy for comments supportive of Hong Kong police officers in the ongoing anti-government protests in the special administrative region, dropped to No. 2, while former Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) was moved to the No. 1 place on the list.
Among the changes, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) was dropped from a safe No. 10 listing to a riskier position at No. 14, while former lawmaker Chiu Yi (邱毅), a supporter of China's unpopular "one country, two systems" policy, voluntarily stood down from his spot at No. 8.
However, retired Lt. Gen. Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷), a pension reform activist who has drawn criticism for his 2016 attendance at a Chinese government event commemorating Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) in which he listened to a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping, was retained in the No. 4 spot.
In response to the controversy surrounding the listing, Yeh said she does not support Hong Kong's extradition bill but all politically neutral police around the world.
Meanwhile, Wu contended that he did not know the event he attended in China was to be presided over by Xi, while expressing his support for the "1992 consensus" advocated by the KMT as a basis for relations with China, which agrees with the idea of "one China," with each side having its own interpretation of what "one China" is.
He also voiced opposition to Beijing's "one country, two systems" formula to govern ties across the Taiwan Strait.
At-large seats, which comprise 34 of the Legislature's total 113 seats, are decided in a separate ballot in which voters select their preferred political party, not individual candidates tied to electoral districts. A party that wins at least 5 percent of the votes is eligible for a share of at-large legislator seats, which are allocated in proportion to each party's vote count.
The KMT expects to gain enough votes in the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections to secure at least 15 legislator-at-large seats, which will be filled by its top nominees.
To secure a legislative majority, a party needs to win at least 57 seats. The KMT currently holds 35 seats in the Legislature, while the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has 68.