Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday that she will travel to Paraguay in the middle of next month to attend the inauguration of Paraguayan president-elect Nicanor Duarte on President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) behalf.
In an exclusive interview with the Central Broadcasting System, Lu said that she is scheduled to make a transit stopover in the US en route to Paraguay, the only South American nation that maintains diplomatic ties with Taipei.
Lu said she will also take advantage of the trip to visit Panama to consolidate diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Lu disclosed that there was a fair chance she would have been able to make an ice-breaking visit to a leading European nation last month, but that to avoid affecting first lady Wu Shu-chen's European visit, her trip was canceled.
Asked whether it would represent the DPP's discarding of its idea of "co-governance by two genders" if Chen does not choose a woman for next year's presidential election ticket, Lu said the presidency and the vice presidency should be assumed by those who have the required administrative experience, irrespective of gender.
She also said that Chen's running mate must be a DPP member and that the party should refrain from forming a cross-party alliance for the election.