Tue, Aug 14, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Hsieh upbeat on Su's response to offer

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), who is visiting Indonesia, said yesterday that former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) had responded with "good will" to his invitation to be vice president.

Hsieh told reporters that he and Su had a long talk on the telephone yesterday morning, during which Su promised to give him a "positive" response to his invitation to be his running mate because Su was concerned about the overall welfare of the nation.

But Hsieh added that this did not mean a Hsieh-Su ticket was a certainty because he still needed final confirmation from the former premier.

Hsieh surprised many by calling a press conference during his visit to Singapore on Sunday afternoon.

It was then that he confirmed for the first time that he had asked Su to be his vice presidential partner before Su left for a trip to the US on July 20.

Hsieh said at the time he had been unable to communicate with Su directly, adding that Su had yet to respond.

However, Hsieh said during the press conference that he was sincere and looked forward to a satisfactory result.

He added that former vice premier Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), who has expressed her interest in being Hsieh's running mate and enjoys support from her fellow Hakka groups, understood his decision.

When talking to reporters in Indonesia yesterday, Hsieh said Su hoped that a key campaign position could be arranged for Yeh if a Hsieh-Su ticket comes to fruition.

Hsieh's campaign team said last week that his running mate would attend a Taipei rally on Wednesday night along with Hsieh.

Hsieh said yesterday that it would be okay if Su, who is in the US, was unable make it to the rally.

In an exclusive interview with the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) published yesterday, Su said he is a person who gives priority to the bigger picture.

"The bigger picture refers to the necessity that Taiwan must win [in next year's presidential poll]. For the bigger picture, I made a concession [to make room for a Hsieh-Yeh ticket at the end of last month]. What else could I do?" he asked.

Earlier yesterday in Taipei, pro-Hseih DPP legislators were playing up the prospects of a Hsieh-Su ticket.

"We are incredibly optimistic about the possibility," said DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), a protege of Hsieh.

DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅), who is close to Hsieh, said Su should consider the feelings of his "friends" and give priority to the good of Taiwan as a whole.

"We are just waiting for the bride to come back so that we can hold the `wedding,'" Lee said.

"Since Hsieh has made a promise to Su, Su is Hsieh's only love ... Su has been through a lot of things. [I] believe he will place the bigger picture for Taiwan before himself," he said.

When asked whether he was expecting to see a "Hsieh-Su ticket," President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who has been promoting the partnership, responded by saying, "Buddha says: `You can't say,'" with a smile on his face.

"Everyone will soon find out," Chen said.

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday gave her blessing to a Hsieh-Su ticket, saying that she would respect Hsieh's decision if the pair decided to run in next year's presidential election.

When asked by reporters whether the two would genuinely cooperate in the wake of a fierce primary, Lu said that she did not know but if Hsieh had decided to pair with Su, she would respect his decision and give them her blessing.

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