Presidential Office spokeswoman to run as DPP candidate in Hualien

07/05/2022 10:59 PM
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Legislator Liu Chao-hao (left) and Presidential Office spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka. CNA file photo
Legislator Liu Chao-hao (left) and Presidential Office spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 5 (CNA) Presidential Office spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka was tapped by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Tuesday to run for Hualien County magistrate in Taiwan's local government elections scheduled for Nov. 26.

The election strategy committee on Tuesday evening picked Yotaka and Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪) to run as the party's candidates for Hualien and Taitung county magistrate, respectively, the DPP said in a statement, adding that both would be officially nominated at a Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday.

Speaking about the selection of Yotaka and Liu, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who doubles as DPP chairperson, was quoted in the statement as saying that the two are the "most suitable candidates" to run for Hualien and Taitung because they have had years of experience working in the central and local governments.

Tsai said although Hualien and Taitung have long been opposition Kuomintang (KMT) strongholds, she believes Yotaka and Liu will do their best to win over the voters and serve the people of their hometowns.

Yotaka, who faces KMT incumbent Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚) in the upcoming magistrate race, was named Presidential Office spokesperson in May 2020, the first Indigenous person to hold the position.

The 48-year-old spokeswoman from the Amis Harawan tribe of Yuli in Hualien County was a journalist and television anchor for more than a decade before being appointed to head Taoyuan's Department of Indigenous Affairs in 2014.

She was elected as a legislator in 2016 but resigned two years later to take up the post of Cabinet spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Liu will challenge the KMT's April Yao (饒慶鈴) for the Taitung magistrate seat, after losing to Yao in the 2018 local government elections by about 20 percent.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Liu said he would strive to win the election despite the tough challenge ahead.

Although he has run unsuccessfully for Taitung country magistrate five times, he will continue working hard and offer "a new hope, new force and new direction" for the people of Taitung, Liu added.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

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