Former DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang (
As the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has just elected a new chairman, sources said President Chen Shui-bian (
Dogged by the media yesterday, Su refused to comment on the speculation, saying only that he appreciated the concern.
Su, who resigned last month to take responsibility for the party's resounding defeat in the Dec. 3 local government elections, still enjoys a great deal of popularity and is thought to be one of the party's most charismatic figures.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Office's hesitation in responding to the Executive Yuan's decision to ask the legislature to reconsider the recently passed 2006 budget plan has observers speculating that Chen might reject the idea.
The Presidential Office's inaction on the budget is seen by many pundits as a signal that Premier Frank Hsieh (
The Constitution stipulates that the Executive Yuan must send a request to the president within 10 days of receiving the written text of the government budget from the legislature if the government wants to overturn a budget plan that the legislature has passed but it deems difficult to implement.
Hsieh said yesterday that he would recommend the president ask the legislature to reconsider the budget plan as soon as he receives the budget from the legislature.
Meanwhile, even though Su sounds to many like a good choice to be premier, some DPP lawmakers voiced concern yesterday over the idea.
Legislator Hong Chi-chang (
Hong said that Chen could consider appointing someone who is not a DPP member but has business or financial background and enjoys high social status.
Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) is an example of a very good candidate, Hong said.
"No matter who the next premier is, the pan-blue camp will still hold a majority in the legislature," Hong said.
"Do we really want to place another of our best men in the front line to take the bullet?" he said.
DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (
"While four or five premiers have been replaced since the DPP came to power, the president might want to think twice about appointing a new premier as the pan-blue alliance still dominates the legislature," he said.
"I don't think the appointment of Su would help resolve the political deadlock."
Chen Chin-jun also called on the president to refrain from recruiting opposition members to join the Cabinet and instead seek talented people from within the ruling party.