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Mon, Dec 03, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Commissioner vows to continue efforts

CANDIDATES' FUTURES Su Tseng-chang says he'll continue to fulfill his duties, while the defeated Wang Chien-shien of the New Party announced his political retirement


Candidates for Taipei County commissioner, a post regarded as a key election prize, will walk down different paths now that the election is over.

The DPP's Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who won the position, yesterday vowed to continue his efforts in the county, while his rival, the New Party's Wang Chien-shien (王建火宣), announced his retirement from politics.

Su, also incumbent Taipei County Commissioner, yesterday expressed his appreciation to voters by visiting DPP campaign branches in 12 townships to shake hands with supporters.

"I try to tell my supporters in person that I will carry through on all [my promised] policies in the county," Su said.

Su's achievements in his past four years in power made him a legend in Saturday's election. Su has become the only DPP local chief in northern Taiwan, successfully holding onto DPP territory.

Su gained more than 870,000 votes, breaking the record for local elections in Taipei County. Four years ago, Su received support from about 570,000 residents.

Political watchers said that one of Su's successful strategies was his distancing himself from the DPP-dominated central government.

He stressed during his campaign that he will continue to carry out all policies over what will be his eight years in power.

Meanwhile, Wang of the New Party announced his retirement from political circles yesterday.

Although the "pan-blue" camp tried to work together by persuading candidates with the KMT and PFP to withdraw from the race, Wang, a former finance minister in the early 1990s, gained only a little over 820,000 votes on Saturday.

"I've done my best. I will not take part in any public elections in the future," Wang said, implying his disappointment over the political situation.

In particular, Wang said, he felt so sorry about the results of the legislative election because many of what he thinks are excellent New Party candidates failed to secure voter support. The New Party managed to win only one legislative seat.

Wang went to church with his wife yesterday morning and sang in the chorus. Wang expressed his appreciation to voters and said he would go back to university to teach, continue to assist charities and spend time with his family.

Political observers said that it remains uncertain whether Wang's retirement will accelerate the New Party's decay. Wang is one of six founders of the party, established in 1993.

But Wang, one of the party's most influential figures, has his own opinions about his retirement.

"It's time for senior New Party pioneers to take a rest. A new generation should now fight for the support of Taiwanese people," Wang said.

New Party Convener Hsieh Chi-ta (謝啟大) said yesterday that she would shoulder the blame for the party's failure in the elections by quitting her position on Dec. 8, when a committee meeting will be held.

"We still have 3 percent of voters' support. The New Party will struggle to the very end and will never be merged with other political parties," Hsieh said.

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