Tue, Apr 24, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Two former presidential advisers ask DPP to unite

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two pro-independence heavyweights expressed concern yesterday over infighting between the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) presidential hopefuls, saying that the party must unite to win next year's election.

As the DPP is set to hold party member votes and opinion polls to decide its candidate next month, former presidential adviser Peng Ming-min (彭明敏) yesterday called on the DPP's four aspirants to stop "meaningless personal attacks" and to use policy and platform to win the support of potential voters.

He urged the DPP contenders and their supporters to back the winning candidate.

"If the DPP does not unite, they will lose the election and worse yet, the party will split," Peng said. "If that is the case, it will be the end of local political power and our hard-earned democracy, freedom and human rights. It will also put Taiwan's existence in serious jeopardy."

Telling of his own experience, Peng, who paired with former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) in the 1996 presidential election as DPP flag-bearers, said that the party not only failed to support him but also attacked him.

"Some of those people are still holding important positions in the government," he said. "If those people do not change their state of mind and only think of their personal interests rather than the interest of the party and the country, I believe the DPP will not necessarily win the election."

Peng declined to name names, but said that one of the people that had attacked him was the party headquarters' spokesperson.

While former presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) had run a newspaper ad expressing his optimism for a DPP presidential election victory, Peng said that he was not certain about the outcome but hoped the DPP will win.

Former presidential adviser Wu Li-pei (吳澧培) said that as Taiwan's partisan politics is still in its infancy, he is particularly worried about the fallout of the DPP primary.

Wu urged the DPP hopefuls to remember the ideals of the party, calling on them to remember that the people's support for the DPP is not blind but is connected to the DPP's founding spirit of pursuing democracy, freedom, independence and social justice.

"Please don't let us down and don't make supporters force themselves to back the DPP candidate," he said.

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