Home / Local News
Sat, Jan 13, 2001 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislative race takes interesting turn

COMING ELECTIONS Presidential aide Hsiao Bi-khim has decided to run for a Legislative Yuan seat while Lee Yi-yang, deputy interior minister, reversed his decision

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

The race to become a DPP candidate for December's legislative elections took a dramatic turn yesterday as Vice Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) withdrew from the contest and the president's interpreter, Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), officially decided to make a bid.

Registration begins on Monday for the DPP primary, which will choose the party's legislative candidates.

DPP authorities have been trying their best to alleviate tension and prevent competition arising between too many high-profile candidates standing in the same constituency. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is reported to be among the negotiators.

"President Chen has never been supportive of the idea of my participating in the [legislative] campaign. He has always hoped I will stay on in the administrative department," Lee, a longstanding presidential aide, told the media yesterday after meeting with the president.

"The president said he considers me a capable administrator, praised my performance, and said he hoped I would remain," Lee said, adding that Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) and Minister of the Interior Chang Po-ya (張博雅) had also both expressed their hope that he would stay in his post.

Lee, who had intended to run in Taipei's northern constituency, said that he had taken the supportive words of senior colleagues into account when deciding not to stand.

Lee's announcement has eased the tense election battle for the northern Taipei constituency, where the competition has been fierce since Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉), vice chairman of the Council for Cultural Affairs, announced that he will be entering the fray there.

In the meantime, Hsiao Bi-khim, Chen's translator and the woman at the center of recent allegations that the president was having an extramarital affair, yesterday made public her desire to enter the race.

For the past few weeks, reports have been circulating that Hsiao might run for a seat representing overseas Chinese communities. Each party is allotted a number of "overseas representatives" in proportion to the total votes won at the ballot box. Under intense pressure from the media of late, Hsiao yesterday said that she had decided to participate in the election.

Hsiao has been the focus of media attention since she was embroiled in rumors that she and the president were having an affair early last November. Subsequently she was also attacked by opposition lawmakers for holding a post at the Presidential Office as a US citizen.

Since Hsiao first considered running, she is reported to have sought advice from DPP party elders, all of whom support her decision.

Hsiao's decision has been endorsed by DPP Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), secretary general to the premier, Chiu I-jen (邱義仁), as well as former DPP chairman and now independent legislator, Shih Ming-teh (施明德), local news reports said.

After Luo Wen-chia and Vice Chairman of the Executive Yuan's Research, Development and Evaluation Commission You Ying-lung (游盈隆) -- two proteges of the president -- announced their resignation from their Cabinet posts, Hsiao's participation will further raise interest in the legislative race.

Hsiao will hold a press conference today in her home city of Tainan to make an official announcement of her decision and detail the reasons behind it.

This story has been viewed 3427 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top