Mon, Dec 19, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Yu announces bid for DPP chairman; vows party reform

HISTORICAL SITE Yu Shyi-kun emphasized his determination to get the party back on track by launching his bid at the site of the DPP's creation

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Presidential Office secretary-general Yu Shyi-kun officially launched his campaign for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairmanship in Taipei yesterday, underlining his intent to return the party to its roots by speaking at the DPP's birthplace.

Two days after resigning from his Presidential Office position so that he can run for the party's top post, Yu pledged to regain people's trust in the DPP, retrieve the party's founding spirit and accelerate reforms if he is elected.

He chose the Grand Hotel -- the site where he and other democracy activists founded the DPP -- to hold a news conference to announce his bid.

Yu chaired the secret meeting on Sept. 28, 1986, at the Grand Hotel that established the DPP, which was outlawed at that time since the nation was still under martial law and the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) one-party rule.

Several enlarged pictures recording Yu's participation in the DPP's birth were displayed around the news conference room to emphasize Yu's long history with the party. The title of Yu's campaign slogan, "Unselfish, down-to-earth and insistent," was highlighted at the back of the conference room.

Original spirit

In his statement, Yu said that he had joined the DPP chairmanship race as "an ordinary party member" and that he had decided to run for the position in order to retrieve the noble spirit and actions of the party when it fought for democracy.

"Looking back at the DPP members of that time, each of them advanced bravely and many of them did not hesitate to sacrifice their freedom," Yu said. "I've witnessed the history, and what I want to do now is to get back that unselfish and practical attitude for the party, and for the country."

The DPP's unprecedented setback in the Dec. 3 local government elections represented the people teaching the DPP a lesson, and telling the party to examine whether it had forsaken its dreams, Yu said.

"Now is also the most difficult time for the DPP since its establishment," Yu said. "And as one of the party's initiators, I feel terribly guilty to see such a situation."

Yu said that he believes he has an inescapable responsibility to face people's questions and criticisms since he held many important posts in the Cabinet.

"Over the past five years, the DPP did not neglect carrying out its commitments to people. We did a lot, but we know it was not enough," Yu said. "We talked a lot and we have to do more than that."

Meanwhile, when asked for comment on former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung's (林義雄) possible bid for the party chairmanship, Yu said that he was unaware of Lin's thoughts on the subject, and had not contacted Lin before deciding to run for chairman.

On Saturday evening, Lin's assistant picked up an application for Lin to run for the post.

also see story:

DPP legislators confused by party icon's latest move

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