Election bid by Chen's son tipped to split vote
The son of Taiwan's jailed ex-president Chen Shui-bian said yesterday that he would run in the island's legislative elections next year, a move that could have profound implications for the Democratic Progressive Party because of its vote-splitting effect.
Chen Chih-chung, 32, told a rally in the southern city of Kaohsiung that he would seek a legislative seat in the January 14 elections, which are to be held alongside the presidential poll.
'I will never be absent in representing the Chiencheng and Hsiaokang districts in running for a legislative post from Kaohsiung next year,' Chen Chih-chung told supporters.
He said he had promised to serve the voters for four years when elected as a Kaohsiung city councillor last year, and he planned to keep that promise, despite a court ruling that led to his dismissal.
The ex-president's son, a former DPP member, was stripped of his council post last month after he was sentenced to three months' jail for perjury.
Under Taiwanese law, an elected official is stripped of his or her elected post once convicted of criminal charges by the Supreme Court. Chen Chih-chung was officially notified by the council on Wednesday that he could no longer keep his post.
He stressed he was the only elected official to be stripped of his post because of a three-month prison term, which, in other such cases, could be converted to a fine without prison. 'This is why I want to become a legislator, so I can help others tackle unfair cases like this,' he said.
But his declaration rocked the DPP, which fears it could split the vote in January. The DPP has nominated incumbent Kuo Wen-cheng to represent the Chiencheng and Hsiaokang districts. Kuo only narrowly beat his ruling Kuomintang opponent Lin Kuo-cheng at the last poll.