Major factions within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that they were perplexed as to why former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) asked for registration forms for the party chairmanship by-election, which is to take place Jan. 15.
Lin sent an aide to get the registration forms on Saturday. Registration for the new chairman will run until tomorrow.
Lin published an open letter on Friday during which he said that those who have served as president, vice president, premier or party chairman are not suitable to serve as the new chairman, and should any of those "old guards" come out, he would "dissuade them in all earnestness."
He also said that the new party chairman should not run for Taipei or Kaohsiung mayor next year, or for president in 2008.
DPP Legislator Lee Wen-chung (
Lin has long been reported to be hoping to recruit others to run for party chairman, Lee said, adding that Lin is closely associated with the party and he has been worried about the fate of the party since its unprecedented defeat in the Dec. 3 local elections. He speculated that Lin is "looking for someone to lead the party forward."
Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) of the Justice Alliance said he "had no idea" why Lin's aide took the registration forms.
Gao also said that Yu Shyi-kun, who stepped down from his post as secretary-general to the Presidential Office to announce his candidacy for party chairman on Friday, is unlikely to bow out of the race because of Lin's opposition.
Yu was a former premier.
Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) of the Justice Alliance also said that Lin's move does not mean that he will run himself, and that he "probably is not satisfied with anyone who has come out so far."
Meanwhile, pro-independence Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮), who was the first to register his candidacy, said he couldn't figure out why Lin would want registration forms, based on his understanding of Lin's character.
On whether Lin's move aims to embarrass Yu, as reports have said, Chai would not give a direct answer.
Chai also challenged Yu to say clearly whether he will run for president in 2008.
Lin, who led the party between 1998 and 2000, has faded from the political scene and has been working for a nuclear-free homeland since stumping for Chen Shui-bian (