Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday criticized his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) counterpart of lacking sincerity by making random comments on running mate choices.
"[KMT presidential candidate] Ma Ying-jeou (
"If he keeps picking his running mates one after another, his final running mate may feel as if he or she were regarded as a second-class choice," he said.
Hsieh made the comments yesterday in response to a press query on media speculation that Ma could invite former vice premier Tsai Ing-wen (
Yesterday's Chinese-language China Times and United Daily News each quoted anonymous sources close to Ma's campaign as saying that Ma could consult Tsai on the possibility of teaming up for next year's presidential election.
The newspapers said that Tsai had been included to the list of Ma's potential running candidates because of her substantial financial expertise and administrative experience.
The reports added that having Tsai as his running mate could help Ma expand his public support since Tsai is well regarded by both pan-blue and "light-green" supporters.
Ma was forced to find another vice presidential candidate after Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Thursday ended months of speculation by turning down Ma's invitation to be his running mate.
Wang cited hectic work at the legislature as the reason for his decision.
Despite a KMT caucus resolution on Friday urging Ma and Wang to pair up, Wang said yesterday that his decision remained unchanged and that he had clearly stated his reasons.
Asked about his choice of a running mate, Hsieh yesterday said he would not make any hasty comments because doing so would be disrespectful to the candidate who would eventually pair up with him.
Hsieh is expected to gather the opinion of various sources, kicking off yesterday with a month-long plan to visit grassroots movements and various townships around the country.
Commenting on the media reports, DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said Ma's campaign was trying to exploit Tsai's popularity by including Tsai in the list.
DPP Legislator Lin Yu-sheng (
KMT Legislator Shyu Jong-shyoung (
Additional reporting by staff writer