On Monday (yes, I’m a bit behind), the KMT announced its rules for city council nominations. There are four interesting aspects. First, they will use a three-step process. Nominations will be announced on June 23, July 7, and July 21. The local party branch in each of the direct municipalities can choose whichever of these dates works best for them. Second, each local party branch can choose whether or not to give new candidates a bonus in the poll scores. Currently, it looks like only Taipei City will choose to give the new faces a boost. This probably has something to do with the fact that there are too many incumbents in all the other cities. Third, the registration fee is NT300,000 (about USD 10,000). By contrast, the DPP charges its candidates NT 2,000,000.
Fourth, and most interesting, the KMT has decided that if at least half of the candidates agree, the party will use surveys as the deciding factor in nominations. Otherwise, they will also use a vote of party members. To me, this is an invitation for candidates who think they can win a survey to register fake candidates solely for the purpose of voting to have nominations decided by surveys. If this sounds too manipulative and you are sure that the KMT would step in and disallow it, remember that the KMT disqualified Fu Kunqi 傅崑萁from running for its nomination for Hualian County Executive last year. In response, Fu threw his support to a very weak candidate who he thought he could defeat in the general election. Did the KMT stop that? On the other hand, the KMT might be happy to see everything decided by surveys. Perhaps the party leaders see this as an attack on factional politics.