Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Hsieh to run as DPP candidate

UNITED FRONT The DPP's acting chairman said that following Sunday's primary vote the three other candidates were willing to accept Frank Hsieh's victory

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) will run in next year's presidential election as the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate, Acting DPP Chairman Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) said yesterday.

Chai told a press conference that the DPP's presidential aspirants had agreed to skip the second stage of the primary -- a public opinion poll -- and allow Hsieh to run for president.

According to the DPP's primary mechanism, the primary vote accounts for 30 percent of a contender's final "score" while his or her public opinion poll rating makes up the remaining 70 percent.

DPP regulations state that candidates who have registered as presidential contenders cannot withdraw without the approval of the party's Central Executive Committee.

In a bid to legitimize the consensus of the four aspirants on not holding a public opinion poll, the party also held an impromptu Central Executive Committee meeting last night to approve the decision.

"This result shows that the DPP is a very democratic party. After the primary vote, everyone is happy to accept Hsieh as the DPP's presidential candidate," Chai said.

When asked whether canceling the public opinion poll was "anti-democratic," Chai said: "The result of the party vote yesterday [on Sunday] showed that differences in levels of support for the candidates were so big that any opinion poll is very unlikely to change the result."

Hsieh said the DPP demonstrated an "outstanding election culture" uncommon among local political parties.

"I will keep my promises to the public and the party," he said. "My goals are to maintain the nation's dignity, ensure social justice and bring happiness to the people."

Annette Lu's reaction to events was mixed.

"I am OK with the result but am not necessarily happy," Lu said at the conference. "I would be hypocritical if I said I was."

Lu, who on Sunday night insisted on completing the primary, said she changed her mind after a visit from Hsieh.

"He was very sincere," she said. "I understand that the future battle will be tougher than the primary and will take more time to prepare."

"Bearing this in mind, I am willing to allow Hsieh to begin his preparations for the [presidential] election as soon as possible," she said.

Su, who surprised many by withdrawing from the primary following the announcement of his defeat on Sunday night, said a presidential candidate would have to shoulder heavy responsibilities and that he was willing to support Hsieh.

"The process of the primary might not be perfect, but the result was satisfactory ... we have set a positive example," he said.

Yu told the conference he would seek to amend the party's presidential primary mechanism by canceling the public opinion poll at next month's national party congress.

When asked about his willingness to be Hsieh's running mate, Su said he would "respect Hsieh's decision."

Su made the remarks when approached by the press after he paid a visit to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) in the legislature.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

Also see story:
Editorial: Frank Hsieh gets the nod

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