NPP nominates candidates for Keelung mayor, Pingtung magistrate races
Taipei, June 15 (CNA) The New Power Party (NPP) on Wednesday named Keelung City Councilor Chen Wei-chung (陳薇仲) and neurologist Chan Chih-chun (詹智鈞) as candidates to run for Keelung mayor and Pingtung County magistrate, respectively, in the local elections in November.
At a press conference in Taipei, NPP Chairwoman and Legislator Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said the party had never officially fielded a candidate to run for the head of a local government since its founding in 2015.
The nominations of Chen Wei-chung and Chan demonstrate the party's "ambition" to further its efforts for the benefit of the people and expand its influence across the country, Chen Jiau-hua said.
Chen Wei-chung, who was first elected to Keelung City Council in 2018, said at the press conference that she had held the city government to account over the past four years, focusing on issues such as the city's traffic problems, and long-term care and children's policies.
During her stint on the city council, she has also pushed for more public participation in the city's affairs, such as introducing the practice of "participatory budgeting" so that the city's residents could have more say on how the government utilized taxpayers' money, Chen said.
She added that she had decided to run for the mayoral position in order to bring about positive change to the city, which has a population of about 361,300.
The 31-year-old city councilor will be facing former Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) of the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) in the mayoral election on Nov. 26.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has yet to announce its candidate for the Keelung mayoral race.
Meanwhile, Chan, who works at Fooyin University Hospital in Pingtung and chairs the NPP's Pingtung chapter, said the county is a beautiful place with rich natural resources but affected by serious pollution due to inappropriate management, such as state-run oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan's oil spill in 2021 and the illegal dumping of waste by private companies.
This pollution has had a great impact on the county and its 801,200 residents, causing a decline in its population, Chan said, pledging he would focus on addressing these problems if elected.
The county magistrate race, however, is likely to be challenging for Chan, as he will be facing the DPP's candidate Chou Chun-mi (周春米), who has been a lawmaker since 2016, and former KMT Legislator Su Ching-chuan (蘇清泉).
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