The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) to cooperate in a joint campaign strategy for the legislative elections at the end of the year as part of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) goal of gaining a majority in the Legislative Yuan.
"To avoid dividing our supporters, the DPP and TSU must cooperate over nominations and propose a unified campaign theme," senior DPP Legislator Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) said yesterday.
It would be difficult for the DPP to increase its legislative seats, Wang said, but the TSU is in a much better position to double its number of legislators.
In the previous legislative election in 2001, the DPP won 33 percent of votes, which gave it 87 of the total number of 225 legislative seats, while the TSU received around 7 percent of votes and 13 seats, although it lost one of these seats last year.
The pan-green alliance needs 24 seats to have a majority in the Legislative Yuan.
According to Wang, a crucial factor in Chen's re-election was the victory in seven counties and cities in the south, where the TSU's spiritual leader, former president Lee Teng-hui (
Wang said that the TSU can easily get 20 to 25 seats this year under Lee's guidance, although the DPP is unlikely to gain more than 10 legislative seats.
The TSU reacted positively to the DPP's suggestion, saying that a joint campaign would improve its candidates' chances of being elected, although it could detract from the party's distinctive platform.
"The idea will help our candidates to efficiently mobilize supporters and target our voters," said TSU caucus whip Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘).
He said a joint campaign will help the pan-green alliance to choose better candidates, but might have an adverse effect on the TSU's voter base.
"The TSU might get fewer legislators-at-large than it should, which depends on the percentage of votes a party gets," Chen Chien-ming said.
DPP legislative caucus leader Tsai Huang-liang (
"The president's re-election marks the first time in the DPP's history that it received the support of more than half the voters. However, we will not be conceited. The DPP will again be very cautious about its nominations this year, using a similar strategy to 2001's legislative elections. This means that the DPP needs to replace members with a bad image," he said.
"We will nominate roughly the same number of candidates as three years ago. We won't increase the number of nominees just because Chen got 10 percent more votes in the presidential election," Tsai said.
Meanwhile, DPP secretary general Chang Chun-hsiung (
DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅), who heads the party's "welfare state" faction, said that Chang would be a proper choice to run for legislative speaker, but stressed that other party heavyweights would make good candidates, including Trong Chai (蔡同榮), Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and New Tide stalwart Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌).
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