Wed, Jul 02, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Party scrambles to find a replacement candidate

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was last night talking with former DPP secretary-general You Ying-lung (游盈隆) about the possibility of You representing his party in the Hualien County commissioner by-election next month.

The discussions came after Liu Chao-eh (劉詔娥), widow of the former KMT commissioner and the DPP's favored candidate, pulled out of the race.

Chen had been expected to announce his support for Liu's bid in his capacity as DPP chairman yesterday afternoon during the party's weekly Central Standing Committee meeting.

Liu is thought to have agreed to support Chen's presidential election bid next year in return for the DPP's endorsement of her candidacy in the Hualien by-election, which will be held on Aug. 2.

Following Liu's announcement yesterday, DPP Deputy Secretary General Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) immediately went to Hualien to find an alternative candidate.

The DPP yesterday refused to comment on who it was considering for the candidacy. It said it would announce a nominee today.

Nevertheless, speculation was rife yesterday that You would make a third consecutive bid for the post.

You, now deputy superintendent of the Ketagalan Academy, had firmly rejected the DPP's invitation to run again.

But in an interview with a local TV station yesterday, You appeared to be open to the suggestion.

"I am still considering the election bid, and a more clear answer will be given after I meet with President Chen Shui-bian tonight," You said.

You flew from Hualien to Taipei yesterday evening yesterday to meet with Chen.

"Though I have personal reasons for not wanting to run in the election again, I will sacrifice them if necessary to avoid making it difficult for the DPP," he said.

"I ran with passion ... in the last two elections in order to improve the poor living standards here in Hualien, but it didn't work out. This time, if I run again, I really need a lot of courage to do so and I hope I can find that courage," You said.

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