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ELECTION 2024/TPP nominates former Taipei deputy mayor as speaker candidate

01/31/2024 07:36 PM
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Legislator-elect Huang Kuo-chang (center right) speaks on Wednesday during a news conference attended by TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je (second left), the party's speaker candidate Huang Shan-shan (right) and newly elected lawmaker Chen Chao-tzu in Taipei. CNA photo Jan. 31, 2024
Legislator-elect Huang Kuo-chang (center right) speaks on Wednesday during a news conference attended by TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je (second left), the party's speaker candidate Huang Shan-shan (right) and newly elected lawmaker Chen Chao-tzu in Taipei. CNA photo Jan. 31, 2024

Taipei, Jan. 31 (CNA) The Taiwan People's Party (TPP) caucus announced Wednesday that it has decided to nominate TPP Legislator-elect Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) as its candidate for the speakership of the new Legislature, which will be sworn in Thursday.

As a result, the party, which has eight seats in the new 113-seat Legislative Yuan, will not back the candidates fielded by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or the Kuomintang (KMT) when the speaker election is held on Thursday.

The TPP holds a critical swing vote in the new Legislature as neither the DPP, with 51 seats, nor the KMT with 52 seats, won an absolute majority of 57 seats.

At Wednesday's news conference in Taipei, Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), the newly-elected convener of the TPP caucus, said the caucus will unanimously vote for Huang Shan-shan, a decision reached during a meeting of all eight TPP caucus members on Tuesday.

If no candidate secures an outright majority in the first round of voting, the TPP caucus will abstain in the second round, he said.

The TPP caucus will convene at noon on Thursday to discuss who to back for the deputy speaker election to be held on the same day, Huang Kuo-chang said, adding that if Huang Shan-shan is elected, it will not nominate a deputy speaker candidate.

Huang Shan-shan said the TPP had sought to facilitate cross-party cooperation with four proposals it put forward in the hope of pushing transparency and oversight reforms in the Legislature.

The proposals called for revising the rules on penalties for officials who give false testimony at hearings, prohibiting agencies from blocking lawmaker access to documents, preventing lawmakers from acting on bills that constitute a conflict of interest, and requiring the legislative speaker to detail his or her use of a special stipend.

The TPP previously said it would not nominate its own speaker candidate and would decide whether to support the DPP or the KMT candidate based on how they responded to its appeals.

However, Huang Shan-shan said certain individuals in the KMT and DPP resorted to threats and slander in trying to influence how TPP caucus members would vote, which left many disillusioned about the prospect of introducing reforms.

The former Taipei deputy mayor said she decided to run for the speakership in the hope of ending the haggling between political parties and establishing a new culture in Taiwanese politics, and that her bid is backed by TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and her colleagues.

Huang Shan-shan will be running against the KMT's Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and the DPP's You Si-kun (游錫堃).

Jan. 29: DPP, KMT legislative speaker candidates visit TPP caucus

KMT caucus convener Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) welcomed Huang's entry into the speakership race, saying that it demonstrated the TPP will not play second fiddle to the DPP.

Opposition parties should join forces to provide effective checks and balances on the ruling party, Fu said.

Earlier Wednesday, the TPP announced that Huang Kuo-chang will be its caucus convener, with Huang Shan-shan to serve as deputy convener and Chen Chao-tzu (陳昭姿) as director-general.

(By Sean Lin and Wang Cheng-chung)

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