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 (
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 (
"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 (
Su and his wife Chan Hsiu-ling (
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 (
DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (
Noticeable by her absence was Vice President Annette Lu (