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Tue, May 09, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Chang brings moderation to Chen's DPP

By Hung Chen-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Since Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) victory in the March 18 presidential election, the general manager of the DPP campaign, Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), has been busier than ever before.

After wrapping up the difficult task of winning the presidential race, Chang took over responsibility for arranging the transfer of political power to Chen's new administration -- a job which has proven to be full of challenges and frustration for both him and the new government.

Chang, however, has maintained his upbeat demeanor despite the overwhelming work load.

With 17 years of experience as a legislator under his belt, Chang is well prepared to deal with the responsibilities that have suddenly been thrust on his shoulders.

Chang told the Taipei Times that his new post will entail communicating with many agencies outside the presidential office, including the legislature, the Cabinet, and even his own party.

The 62-year-old legislative veteran has been a leader of the DPP legislative caucus and was a candidate for legislative speaker against current speaker, Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

His many years in official positions give him adequate experience to negotiate with his legislative colleagues and executive officials.

Chang played an important role in DPP policy-making. He was part of the so-called "Eighteen-member Working Group (十八人小組)" that founded the DPP, and is now leader of the DPP's Welfare State faction.

He is also the convener of the DPP's Central Policy Committee.

Chang is a good match for Chen, as both men's early experiences are remarkably similar. Chang graduated first in his class at the Law Department of National Taiwan University and passed the national Bar examination with the highest score. Chen, as Chang's junior at NTU, did the same some ten years later.

Also like Chen, the 1979 Kaohsiung Incident (美麗島事件) changed Chang's life forever.

They worked together as defense lawyers for the military trial in the wake of the watershed event, which ultimately proved decisive in their subsequent decisions to enter political life.

Chang's calm approach, however, is in contrast to Chen's quick temper.

Now that the DPP is poised to become the ruling party on May 20, Chang, with a reputation as a mediator, insists that DPP members should be more moderate and tone down their rhetoric, not to mention the at times violent behavior that marked the party's beginnings 16 years ago.

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