Thu, Mar 07, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Vice president warns DPP not to `deteriorate'

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) cautioned yesterday that asking President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to assume the DPP chairmanship would only backfire and hurt both the president and the party.

Lu was asked by the media to comment on the DPP's Central Standing Committee's consensus on Tuesday that Chen should take over the post.

The media posed the question while Lu was attending a tea party for a national women's group yesterday afternoon.

Lu said that she has devoted her life to fighting for democracy and to supporting the DPP and she now has two very serious points she wishes to make to the party.

"Please don't put the president in an embarrassing situation," Lu said gravely, "and please don't turn the Democratic Progressive Party into the Democratic Deteriorating Party."

Lu then left and did not elaborate further.

President Chen has so far remained silent on the issue.

Close aides to the president stressed that they must first evaluate all the angles of the issue before a decision is reached.

"Whether or not he should serve as the DPP chairman is the most important issue that the president is concerned with now," an aide said.

DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has expressed that he may not run for re-election on May 26 in order to fully devote himself to his re-election campaign for Kaoshiung mayor.

That election falls at the end of this year.

Many of the party's faction leaders have proposed that the party amend its charter to allow for a member who wins the presidency to take up the party's leadership as well.

The DPP headquarters announced that it supports the idea of having the head of state lead the party while in power and having party members directly elect the chairman when the party is a member of the opposition.

The consensus was reached through a vote.

If the resolution is approved in the party's April 20 national meeting -- attended by local chapter leaders -- Chen should become the next DPP chairman.

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