Fri, Jan 13, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lu backs president's independence from DPP

SEPARATE POWERS The vice president said that requiring the president to discuss national security issues with the party would violate the Constitution

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu holds up four fingers yesterday as she says that speculation concerning the most likely candidates to lead the DPP presidential nominations in 2008 has centered around her, former Presidential Office secretary-general Yu Shyi-kun, former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Su Tseng-chang and Premier Frank Hsieh.

PHOTO: CNA

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) acting chairwoman Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said it is inappropriate for the DPP's chair to intervene in the authority granted the head of state under the current constitutional system.

Lu made the remarks during a tea gathering with the press at the DPP headquarters, sharing her views on serving as chairperson since Dec. 7 and her expectations regarding the party's new leader, who will be selected in an election on Sunday.

Lu said that she and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will vote in the election, but she has not yet decided which candidate she will support.

Personality matters

After two televised debate among the three candidates for the post -- former Presidential Office secretary-general Yu Shyi-kun, DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) and former Changhua County commissioner Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) -- Lu said she noticed that some were more original and independent and would be able to lead the party forward.

"But some ... have been limited under a certain frame and I'm wondering if they would be able to take responsibility for the affairs of the entire party," Lu said, adding that she was not targeting any specific candidate.

"The three candidates' personalities, their originality and their political experience will be important references for party members when they vote," she added.

Lu said that if the DPP wants to retain power, the new leader must have a broad perspective, and the ability to detect trends in public opinion and work with local networks.

Strengthening the DPP's "body and soul" will be one of the tasks the new chairperson will have to fulfill, she added.

"But I am happy to see that the DPP is making a comeback through the by-election after the election failure [in last month's local government polls]," Lu said.

President's power

In terms of how the new DPP chairperson should tackle relations between the party and the government, Lu said it is an important issue that concerns the country's constitutional system.

"According to the system Taiwan currently adopts -- which is closer to a presidential system -- the president has complete dominance over national defense and diplomacy. Therefore, it would violate the country's constitutional framework if the DPP were to insist on asking the president to discuss issues of national security, which are confidential and sensitive," Lu said.

"I think it is inappropriate for the DPP chairperson to intervene in the authority that is granted to the head of state," she added.

Meanwhile, Lu also confirmed that the president's son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), and daughter-in-law, Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚), had become members of the DPP several days ago after submitting application forms.

"Chen Chih-chung said he wanted to join the DPP to cheer on his father, as he has witnessed the president being bullied," Lu said.

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