From TIME.com: With its ranks in disarray and its President embroiled in scandal, Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party is pinning its hopes on next week’s heated mayoral election in the southern city of Kaohsiung.
To the boom of fireworks and the blare of high-volume slogans from a pair of loudspeaker trucks, Chen Chu storms into the Chukuang Market. Her curly afro is clearly visible in front of her two dozen supporters as she plows past the rows of parked scooters, the squid cooking on outdoor grills, and the children riding in circles on a miniature electric train. Chen, 56, a veteran activist and former political prisoner, is running for mayor of Taiwan’s second-largest city, Kaohsiung”and tonight she appears intent on shaking the hand of every hotpot eater, bra seller and pachinko player in this small outdoor market.
She’ll need to. Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has occupied the mayor’s office in this port city for the past eight years, and as her party’s candidate Chen would normally be the odds-on favorite to take the position. But these are not normal times. The DPP is under siege. Its top elected official, President Chen Shui-bian, has been under pressure to resign ever since his wife, Wu Shu-chen, was indicted on Nov. 3 on embezzlement and forgery charges. [Full Text]