Sun, Jun 03, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh accuses Ma on running mates

USING THEM? The DPP's presidential candidate said the KMT hopeful had a way of treating people like mere commodities, as Ma began looking for a running mate

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh gets a little overwhelmed yesterday in Taipei when a supporter keeps shaking his hand and hugging him.

PHOTO: LIU HSIN-DE, TAIPEI TIMES

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 (馬英九) should show his sincerity instead of turning other people into a commodity which he can take advantage of," Hsieh said.

"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 Ying-wen (蔡英文) to run with him.

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.

When asked by the media to comment on whether he would consider inviting Tsai to be his running mate later yesterday, Ma said he welcomed all recommendations.

Any Republic of China citizen aged over 40 is qualified, he said. He did not elaborate.

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 (林育生) said that Ma and Tsai would not make a good pair because "Ma is less talented while Tsai is smarter."

KMT Legislator Shyu Jong-shyoung (徐中雄), on the other hand, said the KMT should not rule out anyone as a possible running mate for Ma so long as this person finds Ma's platform acceptable.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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