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Sat, Sep 18, 1999 - Page 3 News List

Chen Shui-bian sets sights firmly on Annette Lu

DPP PRESIDENTIAL TICKET Chen appears ready to make the announcement, but some party leaders are already voicing their doubts over the choice of Lu

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) continued yesterday to show his support for Taoyuan County commissioner Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) as his running mate for the presidential election despite opposition from DPP faction leaders.

"I think party members will respect my thinking and direction in choosing a vice presidential candidate, because they realize the overriding situation the party faces," Chen said yesterday morning.

Chen attended two important meetings with Lu yesterday and met with party leaders in private to reduce any possible internal opposition.

Chen denied, however, that a final decision had been made.

He said that he would ask "all great people" at today's campaign rally in Taoyuan about the issue to help him choose the perfect partner.

Chen's campaign staff mem-bers said he originally had planned to announce his choice of Lu at the Taoyuan rally, but now, in order to reduce opposition from inside the party, he will wait until Sept. 28, the anniversary of the party.

Chen was invited by Lu to a breakfast meeting yesterday with former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating in Taipei.

Afterwards, both of them attended a DPP lawmakers' caucus luncheon.

Instead of attacking those who opposed her, Lu downplayed the possibility that she would be Chen's choice.

"There are many tasks which are more important than the Chen-Lu ticket issue, such as international affairs," Lu said.

"The Chen-Lu ticket is not my business now and I will not comment it," she said.

"But I will firmly support Chen in the presidential election," she said.

"Some people say that Chen is only good at domestic affairs, but I think people will see that Chen also has a global view as well, especially if they could have heard his conversation with Mr. Keat-ing," Lu said.

Meanwhile, most DPP senior leaders shifted their tone from criticism to support of Chen's decision, saying the presidential candidate has the right to choose his running mate and party members should respect his decision.

Chen said the opinions of those who opposed the Chen-Lu ticket were based on their own high standards in choosing a candidate.

"I will still consult with party leaders on the issue, but I believe all my comrades will respect my final decision," Chen said.

Chen also visited DPP lawmaker Chou Po-lun (周伯倫), a leader of the New Era Institute. Chou had said on Wednesday that he would contact other party leaders in an effort to dissuade Chen from choosing Lu.

Chou told reporters after meeting with Chen that the former Taipei mayor seems to have made up his mind about Lu, but that his opposition to the match would carry weight with other party members.

"As far as I know, there are more than 60 members of the party's legislative caucus who do not support the Chen-Lu ticket," Chou said.

"I am worried about those who did not voice their real feelings. They may not be giving their best for the Chen campaign," Chou said.

"At least I hope that my opinions will help let Lu realize the fact that she needs to improve her attitude and be less difficult with people," Chou said.

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