So­cial Demo­cratic Party, Green Party form po­lit­i­cal union to in­crease chances

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s Green Party and So­cial Demo­cratic Party (SDP) an­nounced Mon­day that they have formed a po­lit­i­cal union to in­crease their chances of win­ning leg­isla­tive seats in the elec­tion next year.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the two par­ties signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing that day, agree­ing to form the al­liance and jointly field can­di­dates for dis­trict and leg­is­la­tor-at-large seats in the ninth leg­isla­tive elec­tions to be held on Jan. 16, 2016.

“We hope to move into the Leg­is­la­ture by unit­ing ‘third-party forces’ that share sim­i­lar ideals,” the par­ties said in a joint state­ment.

The par­ties said their goal is to en­sure that nei­ther the rul­ing Kuom­intang (KMT) nor the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) gains a ma­jor­ity in the Leg­is­la­ture, in or­der to “change the old pol­i­tics that fa­vor cor­po­ra­tions and have no re­gard for the dis­ad­van­taged and the mi­nori­ties.”

Over the past 15 years, both the KMT and DPP have leaned to­ward large cor­po­ra­tions, and have harmed the en­vi­ron­ment and hu­man and la­bor rights, the par­ties said, adding that Tai­wan needs op­po­si­tion par­ties that stand with the la­bor­ers, en­vi­ron­ment, sex­ual mi­nori­ties and other dis­ad­van­taged groups.

“We are unit­ing to­gether to safe­guard Tai­wan, safe­guard our home­land and safe­guard our val­ues (to stand with) the dis­ad­van­taged,” Fan Yun ( ), con­vener of the SDP and as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of so­ci­ol­ogy at Na­tional Tai­wan Univer­sity, said at a press con­fer­ence.

Green Party Tai­wan co-con­vener Lee Ken-cheng ( ) said it took over six months of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­fore the par­ties agreed to form the union.

The leg­isla­tive elec­tions will be held next year along with the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

A po­lit­i­cal party or union of par­ties must win at least 5 per­cent of the valid votes to win any of the 34 leg­is­la­tor-at-large seats in the 113-seat Leg­is­la­ture. The “con­stituency” leg­is­la­tors will ac­count for 73 of the to­tal, with the re­main­ing six go­ing to abo­rig­i­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The So­cial Demo­cratic Party was formed on March 29 of this year and has not yet gone through any elec­tions. Its mem­bers in­clude pro­fes­sors, lawyers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions.

It sup­ports higher wages for work­ers, higher taxes on busi­ness mag­nates and the wealthy, equal rights for gays, and fair­ness and trans­parency in pol­i­tics, and is against cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment.

The Green Party Tai­wan, es­tab­lished on Jan. 25, 1996, has fought in many elec­tions but has won only two lo­cal coun­cil seats — in Hs­inchu County and Taoyuan City — dur­ing the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions late last year.

The Green Party Tai­wan is a mem­ber of the Asia-Pa­cific Greens Fed­er­a­tion and is fo­cused on fight­ing against en­vi­ron­men­tal, la­bor and other in­jus­tices.

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