Mon, Jul 09, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Running mate known by Aug. 15: Hsieh

THE CHOOSING GAME Hsieh intends to use public polls to help him choose his campaign partner, while Su Tseng-chang maintains he does not seek the position

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday he would announce his running mate by Aug 15.

Hsieh said he would conduct a public opinion poll on former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former acting Kaohsiung mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) to make his final decision.

Hsieh said he will also listen to opinions coming "from the president [down] to ordinary people."

Hsieh made the announcement through a recorded message posted on his Web blog yesterday morning.

He said he would be impartial and uphold the nation's interests when choosing his vice presidential partner.

"I will listen to other people's opinions, but I will not let other people decide for me, regardless of who or what they are -- TV news, the media, political talk show hosts, the president, the premier or the [party] chairman," he said.

"The poll results will not be the only criterion, but if there is a big difference between the ratings, I will prioritize a DPP victory because winning the election is the most important goal," he said.

Hsieh said he believes a DPP victory in next year's presidential election would put an end to the nation's "democratic civil war" pitting the DPP against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and resolve "the independence versus unification controversy."

"If the DPP wins, I believe the pro-localization elements within the KMT will gain the upper hand. The KMT will then be thoroughly localized," he said.

Hsieh has remained tight-lipped about his potential running mate since he won the DPP presidential nomination in May.

His KMT opponent, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), chose former premier Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) as his running mate on June 23.

Yeh, a Hakka who enjoys support from Hakka groups, has clearly expressed her interest in being Hsieh's running mate while Su said on Friday he had no intention of competing with Yeh.

In his online message, Hsieh commended Yeh for her magnanimity and the thoughtfulness she demonstrated by suggesting that Hsieh turn to polls rather than directly choose her as running mate.

Hsieh said the reason why he did not choose a running mate immediately after the primary was that he wanted to wait until party members had had a chance to calm down from the emotional primary.

In response to Hsieh's blog posting, DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡), who is affiliated with Su, said Su was not interested in being Hsieh's running mate.

"I have talked to [former] premier Su on the phone. He made it very clear he would campaign for Hsieh but he did not want any offer of position," Wu said.

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