Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Lu says she will never run for DPP chairperson position

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday vowed that she will never run for the chairpersonship of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying that the public should not define the party's internal reform as President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) strategy of setting up a successor.

"The party's reform must be executed logically, and if we insist on the original principle of `synchronizing the party and administration,' then the president should retain the party's chairmanship," Lu said.

"On the contrary, if we decide to follow the new principle of `separating the party and government,' then any government official should stay away from party politics," she said.

"It means that I will not run for the position of DPP chairperson," Lu said, adding that she is not familiar with the party's affairs but is willing to propose suggestions as a senior party member.

reform

Chen last week invited party leaders to discuss his plan for party reform, with the most important change being that he would relinquish his concurrent position as DPP chairman in an apparent move to solicit cross-party support for constitutional reform.

The ruling party's major policy-making mechanism, the Central Standing Committee, also formally set up a "party development committee" on Wednesday to take charge in realizing the president's ideas. Chen personally assigned Lu, Premier Yu Shyi-kun, Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to join the Committee. This has been described as significant, in the sense that Chen purposely promoted Lu to compete with three other party heavyweights to be chosen as his successor.

Lu yesterday responded to the successor issue with anger, saying that the public and local media should respect the duties of the nation's incumbent leaders, and not focus on future power transfers in haste.

"We [Chen and Lu] were just inaugurated a month ago and we have many plans to bring to fruition, while you [the media] are always concerned about the next president and seem to try to poll us from our posts. This is not fair," Lu said.

Lu then asked the media not to make an issue of President Chen's successor and to give the DPP more time to demonstrate its will to carry out their reforms.

assigned

Yu, who was originally not going to participate in the DPP's development committee but had been directly assigned by the president to join the team, said that Lu's vision and experience in international affairs would absolutely benefit reform.

Yu also denied that the party development committee would become a stage for the "big four," who are possible DPP candidates in the 2008 presidential election, to compete for winning the president's favor.

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