Twenty-nine Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday signed a petition urging President Chen Shui-bian (
At a press conference yesterday, 13 of them identified three qualities a vice president should have. They said the candidate should meet society's expectations, improve Chen's chances of re-election and be capable of coordinating with the president.
DPP Legislator Chao Yung-ching (趙永清) read from the petition: "We hope the president can take into consideration public opinion about the vice presidential candidate."
Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) of Chen's Justice Alliance faction played down suggestions that the petition was a tool to oppose Lu becoming Chen's running mate, saying, "The petition is not intended to oppose anyone, we are here to support President Chen."
Chen has refused to identify his running mate for next March's election, saying the party will decide at a conference in December. But at a Taipei temple last week, Chen told supporters to use their votes to support him and Lu for another term. The following day, he said the visiting Gambian president had made history by being the first president to select a woman to be his running mate, and he had chosen the same woman to run with him for re-election.
A senior DPP official, Shen Fu-hsiung (
The 29 legislators who signed the petition included members of all the DPP's factions. Among them was lawmaker Lin Yu-sheng (
"The faction has never made a conclusion to support a particular candidate," Lin said. "The speculation about the faction supporting [Lu] is just a misunderstanding. We believe President Chen will choose a candidate who can help him win the election."
When asked about the petition, Lu said it was correct and justified.
"If they ask me to sign the petition, I will also give my endorsement," she said.
However, Lu defended the president's hints he wanted to pick her, saying, "The president is wise in making his decision. We should respect the president's opinion."
DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (
DPP Legislator Lawrence Gao (
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sought to capitalize on the apparent discord within the DPP, urging the ruling party not to neglect its administrative duties because of internal feuding over election affairs.
KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (
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