Wed, Feb 16, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Su `rush, rush, rushes' into DPP post

CEREMONY The new chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party was congratulated by leading figures from all of Taiwan's main political parties yesterday

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian, center, yesterday gets pumped up at a ceremony at DPP headquarters in Taipei, as acting chairman and legislator Ker Chien-ming, left, passes a rugby ball to incoming Chairman Su Tseng-chang, right.

PHOTO:LO TEH-PEI, TAIPEI TIMES

High-ranking officials from the pan-blue and pan-green camp were stepping over each other in their effort to demonstrate their newfound respect for "political reconciliation" at a ceremony held yesterday morning at the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) headquarters, in which Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) became the new chairman of the DPP.

The ceremony, held to celebrate the appointment of the DPP's 11th chairman, was the most elaborate such event since the DPP was established in 1986. Top political leaders of every stripe attended the ceremony, including President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Shu Chin-chiang, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Yu Shyi-kun, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and People First Party (PFP) Vice Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (張昭雄).

Notably, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) did not show up at the saccharine lovefest, and simply presented flower baskets as a token of their felicitations.

In his congratulatory speech, Chen praised Su as an outstanding talent in the DPP who has extensive experience in politics, and lauded his earnest mien and integrity.

Chen also encouraged Su to lead the DPP to advance Taiwan into a new phase, using Su's catchphrase, "Rush, rush, rush!", which he said represents Su's efficiency and vigor in working.

Chen also delivered a mild chastisement to Su, telling him not to work too hard or to "go too far," which touched off a wave of uproarious laughter among the attendants. Su had often been criticized during the legislative elections for what many considered his unmasked efforts to advance his political career and his attempts to upstage Chen.

"I would also like to remind Chairman Su not to go too far when he is rushing ahead to his goal," Chen said.

"The most splendid ending always belongs to the most honest actors who play their roles well," Chen added.

Su responded to Chen's mild reproach after the ceremony, saying that it was simply a demonstration of Chen's goodwill and expectations for him and that the president had a good sense of propriety.

Since the DPP's prospective presidential candidates in 2008 -- including Lu, Yu, Su and Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) were all present at the ceremony, the succession issue was also a focal point during yesterday's ceremony.

Lu praised Su as "the most suitable successor of Chen," which caused a small disturbance amongst the audience members, who were dissecting every remark for its political significance.

Lu also stated that Su's new post symbolized the fact that the attorneys who defended the victims accused of being "insurrectionists" in the Kaohsiung Incident (美麗島事件) in 1979 have now consolidated their positions at the center of the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan and the DPP.

"Today's inauguration also represents the success of the `Southern Revolution' since President Chen, Premier Hsieh and Chairman Su all come from southern Taiwan," Lu said. "I believed the values of southern Taiwan will be integrated into the values of Taiwan and become the mainstream."

Hsieh, who is viewed as Su's main competitor to run in the 2008 presidential election as the DPP candidate, extolled Su for gaining a lot of support and being wiser than he is, and said he believed that a good division of labor between Su and him will benefit the nation.

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