Mon, Jun 20, 2005 - Page 3 News List

TSU, DPP alliance to be tested

A MATTER OF SUPPORT The mayoral race in Keelung could be the litmus test for how well the two parties cooperate in the local government elections later this year

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The degree of cooperation between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) will face a test beginning today, as the DPP plans to hold a survey on its prospective candidates for the Keelung mayoral elections.

If the winner's support rate in the poll is higher than that of the TSU's nominee, the DPP will nominate a candidate, rather than giving the nomination to its ally.

The election has already produced some infighting within the pan-green camp, after National Policy Adviser Huang Hua (黃華), a DPP member who was planning to campaign for the position, announced he was withdrawing from the DPP and joining the TSU on Friday, during a rally for TSU candidate Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘). Huang said the act was in protest against the cancelation of a DPP primary in Keelung, after the DPP yesterday decided it would select its candidate by holding a survey of five potential candidates, including Huang, DPP Legislator Wang Tuoh (王拓), Keelung City councilors Chen Chih-cheng (陳志成) and Yu Hsiang-yao (游祥耀) and director of Keelung's DPP chapter, Shih Shih-ming (施世明), to determine who will be selected as the party's candidate.

DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) announced the decision yesterday, saying that if the DPP's winner still cannot surpass the TSU's candidate in the surveys, then the DPP will throw its support fully behind Chen Chien-ming in the year-end elections. The poll will begin today, and the results will be unveiled on Thursday.

DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) admitted that Huang's defection to the TSU complicated the DPP's arrangements in Keelung, where the party originally planned to "enlist" one nominee, rather than holding a primary or just giving up the position to the TSU.

Huang asserted that the DPP's cancelation of the primary was designed to help People First Party (PFP) Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), who also plans to contend for the head of Keelung City, to win the election because the DPP had been advocating political reconciliation with its erstwhile opponent ever since President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) met PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) for a summit.

"Huang's initiation into the TSU surprised us and drove us to reconsider the overall arrangement in Keelung City," Cheng said, while denying Huang's conjecture.

Before yesterday, in reaction to Huang's big gesture, Cheng Wen-tsan said that DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) had talked to Lee and Kao Chih-peng (高志鵬), both Keelung-based party members, to consider campaigning for Keelung mayor on the DPP's behalf. But the two declined Su's request.

Meanwhile, Cheng did not deny that if the DPP decides to nominate its own candidate, a problem for cooperation between the two pan-green camp parties is likely.

"No one wants to give up this mayoral election, after all," Cheng said. "The party who surrenders the year-end election virtually gives up the next legislative election in 2007, which will be an unprecedented competition because of the new electoral system."

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