Thu, Apr 28, 2011 - Page 1 News List

DPP’s Tsai to run for president

READY TO RUN:To increase DPP legislative seats and to upset Ma’s re-election bid, Tsai emphasized party unity regardless of how people voted in the primaries

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

She expressed gratitude to Su and former DPP chairperson Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), the third candidate, bowing and thanking them for their contributions to the party. The two are “irreplaceable assets,” she said.

“In the shortest time possible, I will round up our party’s talent and [ability], regardless of which camp they belonged to in the primaries. We are all part of the DPP,” Tsai said.

Su’s immediate endorsement of Tsai will likely alleviate some of the concerns that the primary would split the party. Su had commanded support from large swaths of the party’s old guard and younger tech-savvy voters.

Tensions were only heightened twice during the two-month primary.

Tsai’s campaign team had called on DPP supporters to “only support” Tsai — implicitly asking them to vote for Ma against Su in the comparative polls — and a leak of some early poll numbers took place on Monday, with allegations that Tsai’s campaign team was the source.

However, she emerged relatively unscathed from these events, downplaying the “only support” slogan, while a spokesperson denied the leak.

If elected, she will become Taiwan’s first female president. The highest government post previously held by a woman was when former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) was elected on the DPP ticket in 2000 and again in 2004.

Pro-independence leader Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏), a former presidential advisor who had a falling out with Tsai, said he “unequivocally supports Tsai Ing-wen without reservations,” at a separate press conference yesterday.

With the primaries now over, the focus is expected to turn to who Tsai will select as a running mate. The decision is expected sometime after May 4, when the nomination is confirmed, campaign officials said.

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and DPP secretary-general Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) have been floated as possible candidates. Su Tseng-chang has rejected the vice presidency outright, as well as any other role, such as DPP caucus head or legislative speaker.

“It’s too early. A decision will take a few weeks,” said Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青), a Tsai spokesperson.

Tsai is expected to resume her duties as chairperson of the party shortly after May 4, ending the extended leave of absence she took to campaign for the primary.

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