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Tue, Sep 14, 1999 - Page 3 News List

Annette Lu an early favorite for DPP's 2000 ticket

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION The Taoyuan county commissioner looks set to run for VP, although party heavyweights would prefer someone from outside the party

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Although most DPP heavyweights have suggested the party's presidential candidate, Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), choose his running mate from outside the party, Chen appears ready to select party colleague and Taoyuan county commissioner Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

DPP leaders said yesterday that party polls show that a Chen-Lu ticket would garner more votes than any other possible combination. At the same time, Chen has yet to succeed in wooing potential candidates from outside the party whom he has indicated he would prefer.

"Tainan City mayor Mark Chen (陳唐山), and former Chiayi County commissioner Chang Po-ya (張博雅) were both possibilities. But neither could possibly increase Chen Shui-bian's poll ratings as much as Lu," said DPP legislative caucus leader Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁).

Chen went on to point out that Lu has greatly contributed to promoting Taiwan's position in the international community, which could help Chen to mitigate criticism from those who say he lacks international savvy.

"As an eloquent speaker and a prominent woman politician, Lu is a better choice than any other party member," Chen Chi-mai stressed.

However, other party faction leaders disagreed yesterday, saying Chen should not limit his choice to just a select few within the party.

"If Chen really goes back to finding a running mate inside the DPP, it reveals that Chen is facing trouble in making a breakthrough. As far as I know, Chen has yet to make a final decision," said Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), a National Assembly deputy and a member of the DPP central standing committee.

Wu and Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), both members of the DPP's New Tide Alliance faction, suggested Chen should select a running mate outside the party to extend potential voter support.

DPP lawmaker Chien Hsi-chieh emphasized that Chen is still consulting with DPP leaders about his running mate, and has still not given up on the idea of finding someone from business or academic circles.

"We can only say that Lu has more chance of being chosen right now," Chien said.

Although a number of senior party members appear to be balking at the idea, Chen looks very much as if he is heading in a fixed direction.

"Chen does have a designated choice. And some party heavyweights are insisting that Chen publicize his choice as soon as possible, if he has decided to select a party member," said DPP spokesman Lo Wei-chia (羅文嘉).

Others in the DPP have suggested that Lu is not easy to negotiate with, as she is very opinionated and tends to dominate her dealings with others.

Lu herself, meanwhile, said yesterday that she was glad to contribute her ability in helping the DPP win the presidential election, and she appealed to the party to allow Chen to make his decision without rushing.

"We should give Chen more space to consider things," Lu said.

One member of Chen's campaign office added yesterday that Chen Shui-bian planned to announce his running mate before mid-October.

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