Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials were on the defensive yesterday after an interview on Friday sparked fresh accusations that Taipei City mayoral candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) is not committed to the election, with party officials insisting he would finish his term if elected and downplaying Su’s presidential aspirations.
In an interview with cable news station ETTV, Su and his wife, Chan Hsiu-ling (詹秀齡), were asked what Su’s plans would be if he lost the mayoral elections to Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) on Nov. 27.
While Su laughed off the question, Chan told the interviewer: “If he isn’t elected, of course he should run in the 2012 [presidential] election.”
Following the answer, Su said it was an example of his wife encouraging him.
Both Su and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the DPP’s candidate in Sinbei City, are believed to be the opposition party’s frontrunners for the 2012 presidential nomination and have faced tough questions on whether they would finish their terms if elected.
While Su, the DPP’s vice-presidential candidate in 2008, said he was looking no further than his current campaign and has pledged to finish his term if elected, Tsai has so far only said that she would be “responsible to the end” — without elaborating.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers seized on the apparent lapse by Su’s wife, saying the DPP candidate needed to clarify his role in the elections and whether he was serious about completing his four-year term if elected.
“Is Su in this election for real?” KMT Legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) said. “He’s been ambiguous all along on whether he wants to run for Taipei City mayor or president.”
Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Su’s running mate in 2008 and a chief election strategist for the DPP in the current elections, said the media should stop picking on Chan, adding that the comments were made in good faith.
“We all know that [Chan] doesn’t really touch politics,” he said during a campaign event yesterday.
Tsai also said she did not believe the comments were out of place, defending Chan by saying that she had always found her to be a naturally easygoing person.
Su yesterday said his attitude had not changed and that he had already made his intentions very clear.
“My full focus is on the Taipei City mayoral elections right now. I’m doing my best to get elected, and if I do, I will definitely finish the term,” he said.
“My wife’s answer is simply what any wife would say to encourage her husband,” he said.
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