Must-know facts about Taiwan’s presidential candidates 

December 17, 2015 12:11 PM (UTC+8)

 

Taiwan will elect its 14th president and vice president on Jan 16, 2016. The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party has selected Eric Chu and Jennifer Wang respectively for their presidential and vice presidential slate. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has tapped Tsai Ing-Wen and Chen Chien-Jen as their candidates, while the People First Party (PFP) and the Minkuotang’s (MKT) Chairpersons Soong Chu-Yu and Hsu Hsin-ying have formed a coalition to enter the election.

The numbers of the three groups of candidates were assigned by lottery on Dec. 16. No. 1 goes to the KMT’s Eric Chu and Jennifer Wang, No.2 the DPP’s Tsai Ing-Wen and Chen Chien-Jen, and No.3 to the coalition of Soong Chu-Yu and Hsu Hsin-ying. Who are they and what are their vital statistics? Here are 3 tables  with things you need to know about the candidates, presented by Duan Media.

Eric Chu & Jennifer Wang (KMT)
Candidates  Eric Chu (54) Jennifer Wang (54)
Highest poll number 21%
Facebook upvotes 660,000
Past election wins 5/5 (1998 Taoyuan Legislator, 2001 Taoyuan County Commissioner, 2005 Taoyuan County Commissioner, 2010 New Taipei City Mayor, and 2014 New Taipei City Mayor)
Highest vote rates in the past 52.61%
Birth place Bade Township, Taoyuan County Taipei City
Birth Sign  Gemini  Libra
Education  Ph.D. in Accounting from New York University  Ph.D. in Law from Renmin University of China, Beijing
Highest position Vice Premier of Executive Yuan the Minister of the Council of Labor Affairs
Experience  Chu has run five elections and never lost one. At the age of 48, Chu became the youngest Vice Premier in ROC history. In 2010 New Taipei City mayoralty election, Chu defeated Tsai Ing-wen. Wang is a fighter for women’s rights. She has since 1990s been part of the movements, and has served as the female victims’ lawyer in many sexual assaults and family violence cases.
Tsai Ing-Wen & Chen Chien-Jen(DPP)
Candidates  Tsai Ing-Wen(59) Chen Chien-Jen(64)
Highest poll number 47.1%
Facebook upvotes 1,530,000
Past election wins 0/2 (2010 New Taipei City Mayor, and 2012 presidential election)
Highest vote rates in the past 47.39%
Birth place Zhongshan District, Taipei City Qishan District, Kaohsiung City
Birth Sign  Virgo  Gemini
Education  Ph.D. in Law from London School of Economics and Political Science  Sc.D. in epidemiology and human genetics from the Johns Hopkins University
Highest position Vice Premier of Executive Yuan Vice President of Academia Sinica
Experience  Tsai was elected and assumed DPP chairpersonship in 2008, when the DPP’s morale was at the lowest ebb. She was defeated in the 2012 presidential election. This year she is running again and has so far been widely supported. Chen was bestowed The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre by Catholic Church for his contribution to the fight against SARS.
Soong Chu-Yu (PFP) & Hsu Hsin-ying (MKT)
Candidates  Soong Chu-Yu (73) Hsu Hsin-ying (43)
Highest poll number 12%
Facebook upvotes 500,000
Past election wins 1/5 (1994 election of Governor of Taiwan Province, 2000, 2004, and 2012 presidential election, 2006 Taipei Mayor election)
Highest vote rates in the past 56.22%
Birth place Xiangtan County, Hunan Province, China Xinfeng Township, Hsinchu County
Birth Sign  Pisces Taurus
Education  Ph.D. in Political Science from Georgetown University Ph.D. in Satellite Surveying from National Chiao Tung University
Highest position Governor of Taiwan Province Legislator in the Legislative Yuan
Experience  Soong has run for three presidential elections and one vice presidential election. The heyday of his political career was between 1993-1998, when he was the Governor of Taiwan Province. Known as “Magical Hand”, he visited 309 Taiwanese counties, cities and townships. Hsu is the first Ph.D. in Satellite Surveying in Taiwan. After attaining her Master of Civil Engineering from National Chiao Tung University, Hsu was offered full scholarship by NASA to go to the U.S. for a Ph.D. degree. But she decided to stay at Chiao Tung University to take care of her ailing mother.

This article was first published in Chinese on Dec. 14, 2015 by The Initium Media, a Hong Kong-based digital media company. Asia Times has translated it with permission with editing for brevity and clarity.

Translated for Asia Times by Jiawen Guo

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