Wed, Dec 07, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Chen mulls DPP's next move, out of public eye

SECLUSIONThe president for a second day outsourced his public duties to Yu Shyi-kun, as he stayed behind closed doors mapping out a comeback strategy for the party

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has been in consultations about who should chair the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), after party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) offered to step down to take responsibility for the DPP's election drubbing on Saturday, Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday.

As for a possible Cabinet reshuffle, the president will not make any dramatic moves before the Lunar New Year holiday in order to stabilize the political situation, Yu said.

Since Saturday's vote, Chen has made no public appearances. Yesterday, he continued to bypass all public activities, as he did on Monday.

Yu continued to receive visitors on Chen's behalf yesterday. He met with representatives of Japanese businesspeople affiliated with Taiwan under the company of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co chairman Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松), and received a group of Taiwanese agricultural experts in the afternoon.

Party reform has become the DPP's top priority, as many attribute the party's defeat to recent corruption scandals involving party officials.

Yu said yesterday that Chen has met with Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) and some trusted supporters to discuss strategies for overcoming the party's many challenges.

Answering media inquiries about Chen's response to the DPP's setback, Yu said that the president is still pondering the election outcome.

"He has not come up with a clear answer yet. I don't know when the president will show up in public," Yu said.

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