KMT candidate list met with criticism

Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Kuomintang Party (KMT) chairman and presidential candidate Eric Chu (4th from left), Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou (3rd from right) and party officials raise hands at a party congress in Taipei, Taiwan, October 17, 2015.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Twelve names from the Kuomintang's (KMT) legislator-at-large list for next year's legislative elections were revealed a day early by local media yesterday and reportedly attracted disappointment from fellow party members.

List placements will not be finalized until the KMT Advisory Committee meets today, and are subject to change, KMT officials stated, according to the local Chinese-language United Evening News.

Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Tseng Yung-chuan, Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman William Tseng, TedxTaipei founder Jason Hsu and Cambodian immigrant Lin Li-chan were unveiled as candidates.

Others include lawmakers and government officials including KMT lawmakers Weng Chung-chun, Huang Chao-shun, Lu Hsueh-chang, former Taoyuan County Magistrate John Wu, incumbent legislator-at-large Alicia Wang, former independent Legislator Chang Li-shan as well as Hsu Chen-wei, wife of Hualien County Magistrate Fu Kun-chi.

Central committee members have expressed their dismay at the nominations, calling the list "extremely disappointing," according to local media.

Names of candidates with industry expertise, currently only known by KMT presidential candidate and Chairman Eric Chu, are expected to be listed as well, and will be revealed today.

Two candidates on Chu's list are well-known academic scholars from the medical and education fields.

Potential candidates - including those with industry expertise, hold magistrate and city mayoral positions, and legislators running in their respective districts - cannot fulfil everyone's expectations, Chu stated.

However, Chu stated that they are still striving to meet the goal of including more industry expert representatives to the safe zone on the list - meaning that they will definitely get elected. Also, they are trying to add future candidates of county magistrate, mayoral and legislative elections to the safe zone of the list.

Responding to rumours that Chen-wei, the wife of the Hualien County magistrate, has a role in safeguarding the KMT's stronghold in Eastern Taiwan, Chu stated that regardless of the location in Taiwan, preparation will be made for future magistrates or legislators.

A Helping Hand from Ma and Wang

Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang reportedly suggested Weng, Huang and Lu as legislator-at-large candidates, according to sources reported by the local media.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng was recommended by President Ma Ying-jeou.

Tseng, a member of Chu's "7-person team" that handles legislative nominations in the KMT, reportedly bumped the name of Lin Yi-hua, a potential candidate for Changhua County's magistrate elections in the future, from the list.

Once the list is approved by the Central Standing Committee today, the Central Committee will vote on the nomination list this Saturday morning.