Sat, Sep 17, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Focus on future at DPP anniversary

19TH BIRTHDAY President Chen Sui-bian made three wishes for the party and the nation before cutting a cake, while other officials were focused on their performances

BY JEWEL HUANG  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN TAICHUNG CITY

President Chen Shui-bian, center, Premier Frank Hsieh, second left, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang, third right, and other senior members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cut a cake yesterday at a party in Taichung to celebrate the party's 19th anniversary. The DPP was founded on Sept. 28, 1986.

PHOTO: LIAO YAO-TUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) threw itself an early 19th birthday party in Taichung City last night that featured a number of prominent party members taking to the stage, not for making speeches, but to show off their musical talents.

The theme of the party was "holding hands, making promises and lighting up Taiwan," but the celebration also allowed the DPP to promote itself and its candidates for the year-end mayor and county commissioner elections.

The celebration reached a climax when President Chen Sui-bian (陳水扁) offered three wishes for the party and the country after he helped slice into a birthday cake and led a chorus of top officials in the party's anthem, Believing in Taiwan.

Chen's first wish was that the DPP could turn Taiwan into a "progressive, complete, beautiful and normal country" and all the people of Taiwan would be able to live good and happy lives with dignity and pride.

"Second, I hope the DPP will win a big triumph in the year-end elections under Su's leadership [DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)] and will grab at least half seats in 21 constituencies," he said. "I also hope that the DPP will win again in 2008 and the DPP's candidate will be elected president in 2008."

"Third, I hope the DPP will never change its insistence on democratic reform, which is a vital path that it has to travel down," he said.

"Only by holding on to reforms can the DPP continue to gain the support of the people of Taiwan and stay in power."

Su, Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun and Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) also crooned the popular song Friends -- perhaps to counterpoint their image as the three main rivals to be the party's nominee in the 2008 presidential election.

Su and his wife Chan Hsiu-ling (詹秀齡) sang the Mandarin love song The Moon is My Heart, while Yu and his wife, Yang Bao-yu (楊寶玉), sang the Taiwanese folk song Four Seasons Red.

Premier Hsieh and his wife played a duet on their ocarinas, serenading the audience with the Taiwanese folk song Wang-chun-feng (Wishing for the spring wind).

The DPP's anniversary is actually Sept. 28, but the party moved up the birthday party so that Chen and Su could take part. Chen leaves next Tuesday on a 12-day visit to Central America and the Caribbean and Su will be joining the official delegation.

Several candidates running for posts in central Taiwan were on display last night as well, including Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), who is running for Taichung mayor; Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), who is running for Taichung County commissioner and Changhua County Commissioner Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠). Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬), who is running for Yunlin County commissioner, and Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), a candidate for Nantou County commissioner, also led their campaign teams in performances.

DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) earned a huge ovation from the crowd with his saxophone solo.

Noticeable by her absence was Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who could not take part because of a reoccurance of a leg problem. She had been scheduled to give a taichi demonstration.

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