With the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) presidential primary a few months away, the party's "four superstars" are trying to boost their chances of emerging as the party's candidate.
The DPP is planning to hold the presidential primary in May, pending the approval of its Central Executive Committee.
In the past, the party did not nominate presidential candidates until July. However, the DPP hopes to nominate the candidates early, taking into consideration that the presidential poll could be held in tandem with the legislative election.
The party is mulling whether to hold the presidential primary at the same time as the legislative primary.
After the Dec. 9 municipal elections, the DPP's "four superstars" have been strenuously trying to consolidate their support bases, although all remain tight-lipped about whether they will run for election.
Vice President Annette Lu (
The stated goal of the DPU is to make concerted efforts to improve democracy, peace and prosperity in the world.
Lu also made a big fuss about a book written about her by a South Korean writer. She said nothing about her presidential bid but lauded the rising trend of women entering politics and becoming heads of state.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (
Su visited Gambia last week, the journey marking his first overseas trip since he assumed the premiership in January.
Since then, Su has visited Matsu, Nantou, Yunlin and Kaohsiung. He also conducted several trips to Pingtung County -- his birthplace and where he served as county commissioner between 1989 and 1993 -- and Taipei County -- where he served as the county commissioner from 1997 to 2001.
DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun has been criticizing his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) counterpart Ma Ying-jeou (
Former premier Frank Hsieh (
Joseph Tsai (
"Her problem is not gender but personality," he said.
After her brother called for Chen's resignation, Tsai said that Lu's chance of becoming the president went out of the window.
Lin Jih-wen (
Unlike Lu, Su enjoys a sound relationship with the former New Tide faction and his no-nonsense attitude has won him and his administration much acclaim.
Su's close ties with the faction, however, may be a liability because faction members are unpopular in the party and the faction's liberal cross-strait polices have upset many.
Another of Su's problems lies in his lack of political vision when it comes to issues like the economy, cross-strait relations, the Constitution and national identity, Tsai said.
Hsieh's advantage is his experience in international affairs and leadership.
In order to win the party primary, Tsai said that it would be a challenge for Hsieh to win the support of Chen and faction members. It is an open secret that Hsieh does not have a close relationship with Chen and tension exists between Hsieh and the New Tide faction.
While Chen is more likely to endorse Su, Tsai said that Hsieh might want to seek support from other political bigwigs such as former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).
It will be to Hsieh's disadvantage if the two primaries are held together, Lin said, because Hsieh does not enjoy as much factional support as Su does.
As the party leader, Yu's chance of a presidential bid hinges on next year's legislative election. If the party wins, he will get a strong boost. If it loses, he may have to follow precedent and step down.
Yu, however, would make a good candidate for vice president if Su is willing to run with him on the same ticket, Tsai said, because Yu is hard-working and responsible.
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