Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） legislators Alicia Wang, left, and Lin Yi-hua speak at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday with signs that say: “A-bian does what he pleases, the judiciary is broken.” Photo: CNA
By Huang Hsin-po and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Former president Chen Shui-bian （陳水扁） is not eligible to be a legislative candidate, Central Election Commission Acting Chairman Chen Chao-chien （陳朝建） said yesterday, after he was nominated as a legislator-at-large by the Taiwan Action Party Alliance.
After his second presidential term ended in 2008, Chen Shui-bian was prosecuted and imprisoned on corruption charges, but in 2015 was granted compassionate release for health reasons and his medical parole has been extended 20 times.
Asked by reporters whether the former president was eligible to be nominated as a legislator-at-large, Chen Chao-chien cited Article 26 of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act （公務人員選舉罷免法）, saying that those who have been sentenced to prison terms cannot stand in an election.
By law, new political parties must nominate 10 candidates for legislative seats before they are eligible to nominate at-large candidates, he said ahead of a meeting of the legislature’s Internal Affairs Committee in Taipei.
However, the commission would not jump to conclusions, and will receive the petition and review it thoroughly, he said.
When asked if there was a precedent for the situation, Chen Chao-chien said that no two cases are exactly the same and declined to comment further, citing the commission’s policy of not commenting on individual cases.
In Tainan, former premier William Lai （賴清德） said that he was concerned about the former president’s health and hoped that he would take care of himself.
A former mayor of Tainan, Lai made the comments at a book launch for Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） Tainan legislative candidate Kuo Kuo-wen （郭國文）.
Many Taiwanese who support President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） hope to maintain Chen Shui-bian’s rights to healthcare, said Lai, who is Tsai’s running mate in the Jan. 11 elections.
Chen Shui-bian’s eligibility to contest an at-large seat should be confirmed by Taichung Prison, the Ministry of Justice said later yesterday.
The prison, which is run by the ministry, set up “four nos” to limit the former president’s public activities: no public speaking, no appearances on a public stage, no talking publicly about politics and no media interviews, the ministry said.
Whether nomination contravenes those restrictions is up to the prison, it said.
Additional reporting by Wu Cheng-feng and CNA