Mon, May 22, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Primary must follow rules: Chen Chu

NO WAY The DPP legislator spoke out against a suggestion that methods other than those in the party's regulations be used to decide the nomination for Kaohsiung mayor

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Kaohsiung mayoral hopeful Chen Chu (陳菊) objected yesterday to the use of approval ratings as a means of selecting the party's candidate, saying the nominee should be decided according to the DPP's regulations.

Although Chen, former chief of the Council of Labor Affairs, and DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) have both registered to run in the party's primary, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said publicly last Wednesday that, in his mind, there was only one possible candidate.

Hsieh, who is also a former Kaohsiung City mayor, said he would not support Chen because he did not think she could win the election.

He added that he would try his utmost to dissuade Kuan from running in the election if she won the primary.

Hsieh said that Acting Kaohsiung Mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) was the party's best hope in the election.

However, Yeh has been vague about the possibility of her participation and did not register as a candidate before the party's primary deadline.

Chen was upset by Hsieh's comments, but proposed that the DPP should reopen the registration process so that Yeh could compete according to the regulations.

Kuan, who served as chief of the Kaohisung City Government's culture affairs department when Hsieh was mayor, said she agreed with Chen's proposal.

In response, the DPP suggested holding a city-wide opinion poll to determine the party's candidate for mayor.

Chen categorically rejected that idea and yesterday reiterated that she would not accept such a mechanism.

Chen's spokesman Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑) said that the DPP should follow its party primary regulations.

"Only by doing so can the party protect the integrity of its primary regulations," Liang said.

"Therefore, we will not agree to use a poll to decide the DPP's candidate for the Kaohsiung mayoral election," he said.

DPP Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that the DPP would not use an opinion poll to determine its candidate unless all interested parties agreed on the mechanism.

"Using a city-wide poll to determine the DPP's nominee for the Kaohsiung mayoral election was just a suggestion raised by certain party officials. We won't force this measure on the candidates if they oppose it," Lin said.

But Lin added that the DPP would continue to negotiate on the matter and would discuss the election in today's central executive committee.

The DPP's primary regulations for local elections make provision for a vote among the party's members, to be held next Sunday, and a telephonic survey of Kaohsiung residents, scheduled for early next month. The party members' vote will count for 30 percent, while the telephonic poll will make up the remaining 70 percent.

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