Sat, Feb 24, 2007 - Page 2 News List

DPP's Yu favors holding a debate before coordination

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, who announced his bid for the DPP's presidential primary on Thursday, said yesterday he is in favor of holding a policy debate among DPP presidential hopefuls before the party begins coordinating its candidate selection.

While paying a visit to the pro-independence Taiwan Society yesterday, Yu told a press conference that he is concerned about how he can communicate his ideas about the nation's future.

"I am confident that I can normalize the nation within the next decade, including correcting its title, delivering a new constitution, joining the UN under the name `Taiwan' and giving the nation a sufficient self-defense ability. As for how I will do these things, I'll show everybody in the future," he said.

He said although he had not discussed his preference for a debate first and a coordination later with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), he had publicly talked about this many times in the past.

"Coordination among presidential hopefuls has always been the DPP's primary mechanism, but it should be OK to hold a debate after candidate registration and before coordination is begun," he said.

"It would be fairer if the debate was held by civil groups," he said.

Yu said that the party's Central Executive Committee must hold discussions on cooperating with the Taiwan Society to hold a debate.

However, he said that candidates have the right to refuse to attend debates held by civil groups.

Nevertheless, Wu Shuh-min (吳樹民), president of the society, said that it had decided to hold a debate among DPP candidates next month.

"Candidates' prior comments [about public affairs] will be examined by voters before next year's presidential election," Wu said. "We hope the candidates will express what they envision as Taiwan's prospects in the debate."

When asked if the society would support Yu in the primary, society vice president Tseng Kei-hai (曾貴海) said "the society will support whoever upholds Taiwan's sovereignty."

"This is a mechanism through which presidential candidates can make themselves understood by the public," he said.

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