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Thu, May 17, 2001 - Page 3 News List

DPP stands behind Hsu despite ongoing protests

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP members burn their membership cards outside the party's Tainan offices yesterday to protest the decision to let Hsu Tain-tsair stand as the DPP's candidate in the city's mayoral election.

PHOTO: WU HSIN-HWA, TAIPEI TIMES

Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), formerly an independent who recently rejoined the DPP to run in the Tainan mayoral race, yesterday visited the party's Tainan City Division to solicit the support of both party officials and local factions.

"I have confidence that I will be able to dismiss [some local party members'] opposition [to my candidacy]. So, let's all work together to win this race," Hsu said yesterday morning in Tainan city.

He added that he would pay a visit to incumbent Tainan Mayor George Chang (張燦鍙) and Chang's wife, Chang Ting-lan (張丁蘭), to ask for further understanding and their support.

Hsu's nomination has met with strong protests from some Tainan party members who believe he is a traitor. Some 10 party members -- most of them supporters of Mayor Chang -- yesterday afternoon staged another protest in front of the party's local headquarters. They burned their membership cards to show their disapproval of the party's choice, reiterating that "the party should not have nominated Hsu."

In response to the demonstrators' anger, party officials in Tainan said that "the party allows freedom of expression by all party members."

"However, party discipline will be imposed if they intentionally try to boycott the party's candidate later on," executive director of the party's Tainan Division, Wang Ding-yu (王定宇), said.

Wang said that the DPP had made the decision according to its nomination regulations, therefore, "Hsu is a legitimate candidate."

He added that Hsu would also be the party's best choice because local polls held before his nomination found that the DPP could secure 44 percent of the vote in Tainan if they nominated him for mayor.

Wang said that without Hsu, polls showed that the DPP would likely garner 22 percent of the vote in the year-end mayoral election, the KMT 11 percent and the People First Party 10 percent.

Therefore, he added, it was very important for the party to nominate "the right candidate."

In Kaohsiung yesterday DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) also urged party members to support Hsu.

"Hsu's nomination was made by the party's highest decision-making body, the Central Executive Committee. Therefore, the party followed democratic procedures [to nominate Hsu] and all party members should support the decision," Hsieh said.

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