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Cablegate: Preliminary Report On Candidates Running For

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 TAIPEI 003642

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON
DEPT FOR EAP/TC, INR/EAP

FROM AIT KAOHSIUNG BRANCH OFFICE

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON TW
SUBJECT: Preliminary report on candidates running for
yearend mayoral/magistrate elections

1. Summary. Although the registration for candidates
running for the year-end mayoral/magistrate elections has
not yet begun, both the KMT and DPP have already announced
their candidates. Following are the biographies of the
candidates nominated thus far, and a synopsis of the current
outlook. With the exception of Taitung County, where the
incumbent is an independent, all incumbents are DPP members.
Despite the KMT's apparent resurgence following the KMT
Chairmanship election, Southern Taiwan popular opinion
continues to tilt heavily "Green" and it seems likely that
all incumbents will prevail. End Summary.

Kaohsiung County
----------------
2. Yang Chiu-hsiung (DPP): incumbent Kaohsiung County
Magistrate elected in 2001
Age: 46 years old
Education: Master, Civil Engineering, National Taiwan
University Bachelor, Civil Engineering, National Taiwan
University

Yang was first elected as a Provincial Assembly Member in
1994, and as a Legislative Yuan Member in 1998. Yang has a
"clean" image and performed well this term. He has the
advantage of being an incumbent and people expect that he
will win his re-election bid.

Lin Yi-shih (KMT): incumbent Legislator elected first
in 1998, 2001, and 2004
Age: 37 years old
Education: Graduate of Department of Dentistry, Taipei
Medical College

Lin is son of Lin Hsien-pao, the leader of the Red Faction
in Kaohsiung County. He supported Wang Jin-pyng in the KMT
Chairman election. He is well known because he served as
the emcee for many campaign rallies during the last
presidential election and because he frequently participates
in political TV talk shows.

Chiayi City
-----------
3. Chen Li-chen(DPP): incumbent Chiayi City Mayor running
for re-election
Age: 44 years old
Education: Master in Environmental Medicine, China
Medical College, Taiwan
BA in Public Hygiene Dept., China Medical College,
Taiwan

Chen served as Acting Mayor when former Mayor Chang Po-ya
was appointed Minister of Interior Ministry in May 2000 and
she was later elected as Mayor in 2001 with Chang's support.
She was an independent until 2003 when she joined the DPP.
Her switch in affiliations surprised Chiayi City residents
and she had to publicly tell people that Chang was aware of
her decision. She won the party primary over the son of the
President's adviser, Lee Hung-shih, to become the DPP
candidate.

Huang Min-hui (KMT), incumbent Legislator elected 2001
and 2004
Age: 46 years old
Education: Bachelor of National Normal University,
Taipei

Huang was a former National Assembly member. Huang's father
was a Taiwan Provincial Assembly member from 1990 until his
death in 1998. Because of the long-time constituent
services performed as public servants by both her and her
father, our contact said that Huang has chance to win the
race.
Chiayi County
-------------
4. Chen Ming-wen (DPP): incumbent Chiayi County Magistrate,
running for re-election
Age: 50 years old
Education: Bachelor, Philosophy Department of Tung Hai
University, Taiwan

Chen is the leader of the Lin Faction, one of the two
dominant factions in Chiayi County. He was a KMT member
until 2001. He joined the DPP in 2002 and ran as a DPP
candidate for Chiayi Magistrate against KMT candidate, Weng
Chung-chun, who is one of the Huang Faction heavyweights.

KMT candidate -- KMT has not announced its nominee because
no one of the Huang faction wants to run against the
incumbent due to Chen's good performance and high approval
rating. It is said that KMT will recruit the Director of
Civil Affairs Bureau of Taipei City Government Ho Hong-Jung
to run, but this has not yet been confirmed. Ho Hong-jung
is a native of Chiayi County. Judging from the current
situation, it is expected that incumbent Magistrate Chen has
a good chance to win his re-election bid.

Tainan City
-----------
5. Hsu Tain-tsair (DPP): incumbent Tainan City Mayor, he is
running for re-election
Age: 55 years old
Education: BA and MA in Economics, Chinese Culture
University, Taipei. Studied at doctoral program in
Business Administration, Rutgers University, New Jersey

Hsu studied in the U.S. for more than 10 years during the
1980's. He was "blacklisted" by Taiwan authorities because
of the pro-Taiwan independence views he expressed as a
student in the U.S. He was legislator from 1992 to 2001.
He quit the DPP in 1995 and ran unsuccessfully against
former Mayor George Chang. He re-joined the DPP in 2001 and
was endorsed by President Chen to run against DPP's
incumbent. Hsu easily won the election. As an incumbent
facing a weak KMT candidate, Hsu has very good chance to win
his re-election bid.


Chen Jung-shen (KMT): KMT candidate ran in 2001 Mayoral
election, former Provincial Assembly member (1991 -
1995) and Tainan City Councilor (1987-1991)
Age: 56 years old
Education: Bachelor in Public Administration, Tung Hai
University, Taiwan. Studies at Seattle City Community
University

Chen unsuccessfully ran in the 2001 mayoral election. He
became the KMT candidate simply because there was no other
better KMT candidate. According to our observations, he is
not popular and has a poor image and his campaign style has
not appealed to voters so far. One of our contacts in the
Tainan area even told us that his chance to win is almost
zero.

Tainan County
-------------
6. Su Huan-chih (DPP): incumbent Tainan County Magistrate,
he is running for re-election
Age: 50 years old
Education: LL.B., National Taiwan University, Taipei
LL.M., Fujen Catholic University, Taipei

Magistrate Su studied Environmental Science at the
University of Denver. He was a legislator from 1992 to 2001.
He was President Chen's campaign assistant in the 1989
legislation election and First Lady's (Wu Shu-chen)
assistant when she was a legislator. Compared with former
Magistrate Mark Chen's (incumbent Minister of Foreign
Affairs) performance, Su's performance has not been good,
especially because of his interactions with his staff and
the County Council. Since Tainan County is the home of
President Chen, Chen is expected to campaign strongly on
Su's behalf, and Su expects that will have a major positive
impact on his re-election campaign.

Kuo Tien-tsai (KMT): former Legislator (2001-2004)
Age: 43 years old
Education: Doctor in Education, National Cheng Chi
University, Taipei
Master in Education, National Kaohsiung Normal
University, Kaohsiung
Post-doctorate Research, Illinois University

Kuo was the Director of the Education Bureau of Changhua
County before being elected to the Legislature in 2001. His
high level of education and his good image appeal to the
young and middle class. He also has the support of scholars
because of public service he has completed in the
educational field. Kuo expects that the new KMT Chairman Ma
Ying-jeou's support will increase voter turnout for Kuo, but
Magistrate Su does not think that people who are
dissatisfied with the ruling party will switch their support
to KMT candidates because of Ma.

Pingtung County
---------------
7. Tsao Chi-hung (DPP): former Legislator (1999-2004), and
former Provincial Assembly member (1994-1998), and former
National Assembly member (1992-1994)
Age: 57 years old
Education: Bachelor in Education, Chinese Culture
University, Taipei

Tsao was a teacher at junior high school before he was

SIPDIS
elected to the Legislature. As a ruling party legislator,
Tsao feels that "change of Taiwan" cannot rely on

SIPDIS
politicians, but he hopes that the enthusiasm in politics
can carry over to improving one's community. He has been
advocating a "community development project" to promote the
idea of reforming the living environment in Taiwan.

Wang Chin-shih (KMT): incumbent Pingtung City Mayor,
elected in 2001
Age: 57 years old
Education: Master in Public Affairs, National Sun-Yat-
Sen University, Kaohsiung

Wang ran for Pingtung Mayor eleven years ago and lost by a
small margin. A journalist for 27 years, he finally was
elected as Pingtung City Mayor in 2001. Wang maintains a
good relationship with the former Magistrate Su Chia-chuan,
the current Minister of the Interior Ministry. Compared to
DDP candidate Tsao Chi-hung, Wang's campaign seems to be
falling behind because of the influence of the KMT
Chairmanship election and the Central Standing Committee's
elections.

Taitung County
--------------
8. Hsu Ching-yuan (Independent): incumbent Magistrate
elected in 2001.
Age: 48 years old
Education: Bachelor in Business Administration,
National Cheng Kung University

Hsu began his political career in 1986 as Taitung County
Councilor while he was KMT member. He also served as
Provincial Assembly member (1994-1998). He withdrew from
the KMT in 1997 to run for magistrate against the KMT
candidate, but failed. In 1998 he defeated the KMT and DPP
candidates to become the first non-KMT Legislator in
Taitung. While serving as Provincial Assembly Member he
became then Governor James Soong's associate. When James
Soong formed the PFP in 2000, he joined the PFP, ran for
magistrate, and won the election.

In 2004 legislature election, he campaigned for DPP's
candidate under the promise that Central Government would
allocate funds to expand Nan-huei High Way (the highway
connects Taitung County and Pintung County). In return, the
DPP did not nominate a candidate to run for magistrate in
the upcoming election.

Wu Chun-li (KMT): incumbent Speaker of Taitung County
Council
Age: 43 years old
Education: graduate of Ho-chun Technical Junior
College, Kaohsiung County

Wu was the KMT candidate in the 2001 magistrate election.
He has an aggressive campaign style, but compared to
Magistrate Hsu, he does not presently appear popular enough
to win the election.

Penghu County
----------------
9. The Penghu County Magistrate Lai Feng-wei is serving his
second term and cannot run again. Lai will seek to be the
KMT candidate for Kaohsiung City Mayor for the year-end 2006
election. That leaves the race without an incumbent.

Chen Kuang-fu (DPP): incumbent DPP Penghu County Office
Chairman
Age: 50 years old
Education: Graduate of Fuhua Senior High School,
Kaohsiung City

Chen is a native of Penghu, but has lived in Kaohsiung for a
long time. He was elected to the Legislature in 1992 in
Kaohsiung City and served until 1998. He returned to Penghu
to run as the DPP candidate for Magistrate in 2001, but was
defeated by incumbent Magistrate Lai. He stayed in Penghu to
serve as DPP Office Chairman in order to cultivate
connections for the upcoming elections. Because he is doing
well and people are recognizing his work, he appears to have
a better chance at winning this time.

Wang Chien-fa (KMT): incumbent Makung City Mayor (one
biggest city in Penghu, half of all Penghu residents
live in the city).
Age: 56 years old
Education: Graduate of National Open University

Wang is a native of Makung City. His older brother served
as Penghu Magistrate from 1989 until his death in 1992.
Before being elected as Makung City Mayor, Wang served in
the County Government as Director of the Tax Bureau and
Bureau of Finance.

If a candidate in the Penghu County elections can win in
Makung City, then the candidate is ensured of a victory in
the election. It is still hard to see who presently has the
upper hand in Makung City.

THIELE

KEEGAN

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