The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday refused to confirm reports tipping former minister of finance Lin Chuan (林全) as the running mate for DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in January’s presidential election.
“We do not know anything about who the candidate will be. We will neither confirm nor deny any information regarding the vice presidential candidate,” Tsai campaign spokesperson Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday that Tsai had praised Lin’s accomplishments and expertise on Thursday and Friday during speeches, prompting speculation that Lin could be chosen as Tsai’s running mate.
The 59-year-old Lin served as head of the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics between 2000 and 2002 and finance minister from 2002 through 2006, both under the DPP administration.
Tsai’s campaign office said that according to the party’s tradition, the presidential candidate has the complete authorization to determine his or her running mate.
The office said last week that the vice presidential candidate would be announced sometime before the Aug. 28 party congress, which will be held in Taipei.
However, that has not stopped the media from guessing. Possible candidates mentioned by the press have included central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南); former deputy premier Lin Hsin-yi (林信義); Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), Nobel Prize laureate and former president of the Academia Sinica; former health minister Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁); as well as DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who lost to Tsai in the DPP presidential primary in April.
Lin’s expertise was a primary reason why the DPP was able to maintain balanced national finances when it was in power between 2000 and 2008, Hsu said.
Speculation from the media was anticipated and understandable, she said, but Tsai would announce her nomination at “the right time.”
“We will know the answer in one or two weeks,” she said.
In related news, Hsu said the Tsai campaign expressed its best wishes to the re-organized Taipei Forum Foundation, which will be chaired by former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起) as a self-proclaimed “bipartisan” think tank.
Former DPP legislator Hung Chi-chang (洪奇昌) is among the 15 board members, which also include former American Institute in Taiwan director Richard Bush and Morris Chang (張忠謀), founding chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電).
In response to a question about the neutrality of the think tank, which is still seen as a predominantly pro-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) organization, Hsu said the office “would like to think it will be bipartisan and welcomes constructive criticism and helpful advice from the think tank.”