Profile: PFP presidential candidate James Soong

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PFP Chairman James Soong (left) and running mate Yu Hsiang (CNA photo)

Today, we look at one of the three candidates running for president, James Soong.

 

People First Party Chairman James Soong is offering voters what he’s calling a third option for people tired of the sparring between the two major parties. The 77-year old veteran politician is on his fourth run for president.  This time, he’s running with former media tycoon Yu Hsiang.

 

Soong was born into a Kuomintang military family. He received a master’s in poli-sci from UC Berkeley and a PhD from Georgetown University. He entered politics as a Secretary to Premier Chiang Ching Kuo. Soong later became the director-general of the Government Information Office. His popularity grew and in 1994, he became the only elected governor of the Taiwan Province.

 

In the 2000 election, when the Kuomintang chose Lien Chan as its presidential candidate, Soong broke away from the party to run as an independent… and later started the People First Party.

 

In 2000, he ran with Professor Chang Chau-hsiung and got over 36% of the votes, losing by just 2.5%.  Four years later, he joined forces with Lien Chan and ran for vice president, taking nearly 50% of the vote. In 2012, Soong chose Public Health Professor Lin Ruey-shiung as his running mate and they got less than 3% of the vote. In the last election, Soong ran with Minkuotang’s Hsu Hsin-ying and they got nearly 13% of the tally. 

 

Soong says this election is his endgame. If elected, he will push to move Taiwan to a parliamentary system. For the past two terms, his party held 3 seats in the legislature.

 

 

 

News Source:RTI
Editor:Natalie Tso