Sat, Jul 03, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP sets sights on vote boost in December poll

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is aiming to get 45 percent of votes cast in December's legislative elections, seeking a 10 percentage-point jump from its traditional support level.

The party's performance in legislative elections has traditionally trailed its performance in presidential ballots. But the party hopes that the 12 percentage point jump in support for President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the March 20 election can be translated into increased support in December.

"The DPP seeks to bring the 1.5 million extra votes gained in this presidential election into the party's base of firm supporters. This is the highest public support the party has ever received, and we want to solidify that support for the DPP, party Deputy Secretary General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) told reporters yesterday.

Chen won 51 percent of the vote in March, up from 39 percent in 2000.

However, in legislative elections, adopting the "multi-member district, single vote" electoral system, the DPP has never exceed 35 percent support.

The DPP is scheduled to hold its strategy meeting today for the party headquarters officials and executives from the DPP local chapters to discuss the legislative campaign.

"The DPP's performance in past legislative elections always peaks at around 35 percent of the vote. This time around, we've set the goal 10 percent higher," Lee said.

Citing the recent results from private polls, Lee said the DPP has increased its public support from 51 percent in presidential election to 64 percent after the pan-blue camp's disruptive post-election protests.

"We think this trend of rising public support is favorable to the DPP and we want to get hold of that. We are very confident and ambitious about the goal of making the pan-greens the majority after the legislative elections," Lee said.

In the 1995 legislative election, the DPP expanded its vote base to 33 percent, which dwindled to 29 percent in the 1998 election but returned to 33 percent in 2001.

The DPP has recently formed a five-member legislative campaign strategy group, comprising the party's top-notch election strategists including National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), Vice Premier Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan, DPP legislative caucus whip Tsai Huang-lang (蔡煌瑯) and Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), former campaign spokesperson for the president and now the new chairman of the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp.

The group will meet for the first time on Monday to draw up the basic themes of the party's campaign.

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