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Wed, Aug 01, 2001 - Page 3 News List

DPP's Hualien County Commissioner choice reluctant to run

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A former DPP Cabinet official who lost his bid in April to represent the party in the legislative elections has been chosen to stand in the race for Hualien County Commissioner.

But Michael You (游盈隆) is reluctant to run in the race, saying he promised voters in April he wouldn't contest any seats in Hualien County.

"As Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has put it, it's a mandatory nomination that You can not reject," Hsu Yang-min (許陽明), the DPP's deputy secretary-general, said yesterday after the party's Central Standing Committee meeting.

"And Hsieh also said that party members should put aside their personal freedom when national interests are involved."

Hsu, quoting Hsieh, said that You had no choice but to accept the call of his party. He noted that You's poll numbers were high in Hualien County, making him the best choice to represent the DPP in the contest.

Hsu said the party would ask You's former colleagues in the Cabinet to help persuade him to accept the nomination.

Astonished to hear of his "mandatory nomination," You said yesterday that it was "probably the first time I've ever heard the party use this term."

"Don't party members have their own free will?" he said, though he didn't seem to be annoyed by his party's determination. "So far, I haven't thought about accepting the offer."

You said his main concern was that he had publicly promised he would not seek any elected office in Hualien County after losing the April legislative primary. He said he was scheduled to meet with Hsieh this morning to discuss the matter.

You resigned in January from his position as former vice chairman of the Cabinet's research, development and evaluation commission. He stepped down to participate in the party's primary elections, aiming to expand the DPP's legislative seats.

Though he's seen as a close aide to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), You surprisingly lost his legislative bid to Lu Po-chi (盧博基), currently a Hualien County councilor.

You ran in the Hualien race three years ago, but failed to win the support of voters, mostly Aboriginal groups that favor KMT candidates.

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