Thu, Apr 24, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Annette Lu says she plans to bow out for 2004 poll

DPA , TAIPEI

Vice President Annette Lu visits National Chiayi University's Horticultural Technology Training Center yesterday.

PHOTO: WANG YU-LING, TAIPEI TIMES

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday she will retire after her term ends in May next year.

She said she would make way for some other capable person from the DPP to take her place in next year's presidential race with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

"In the past year I have kept telling President Chen I would not run for a second term ..., but the president appears not to believe what I have said," Lu said.

She said she is serious about what she has said because she wants to give Chen "more room" for maneuvering.

She said there is an urgent need for Chen and the DPP to quickly pick a vice-presidential candidate as it would be better for him to start his re-election campaign as soon as possible.

"This is why I decided to step back and I do it for the sake of all [in the party] so that it can move forward," she said.

The announcement by Lu to back off from next year's race has provoked several power struggles within the DPP.

Different factions within the party are reported by local news media to have started a proxy war with the major New Tide clique backing Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to be Chen's running mate.

New Tide flatly denied such a move.

The Welfare Nation clique is reported to have opted for its key political heavyweight, Taipei County Commissioner Su Chen-chang (蘇貞昌) to be Chen's deputy.

DPP officials said the vice presidential candidate would only be announced some time in autumn.

Political analysts said Chen is going to have a tough time dealing with the internal power struggles arising from Lu's withdrawal.

Meanwhile, Lu has also said she would respect whatever decision made by Chen, thus leaving the door open for her to still be picked by the president as his running mate, making the power struggle even more complicated, analysts said.

Chen had said on Tuesday that there was no reason to speculate whether Lu would be on the ticket as vice president in next year's election because the DPP had to concentrate on more pressing concerns such as the economy.

Chen also said in a press release made available by the Presidential Office that the real decision would be made during the nomination process

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