Fri, Oct 05, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chen remains noncommittal on offer of DPP top post

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday remained noncommittal about whether he would take up the post of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman again, but said he would seriously consider it.

"I have 100 jin (, a Taiwanese weight measurement that is equal to 60kg) on my shoulders and am out of breath," Chen said. "To take the job of chairman is to add 100 more. Will I be able to carry it? I would like you to think about it for me."

Chen said he could not do the job alone if he does decide to accept it.

"I need your help to carry the heavy load," he said. "So it will not become a burden."

Chen made the remarks in Taipei County yesterday morning.

On Wednesday, the DPP Central Standing Committee unanimously agreed to urge Chen to double as party chairman. The party will hold an extraordinary Central Executive Committee meeting today to make the nomination official.

Chen said that while some people have said the position of party chairman was a burden, he thought it was more appropriate to describe it as a responsibility.

"It is not an easy job," he said. "If it were, former senior presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) would not have said it was a burden."

Koo, a supporter of outgoing DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, is strongly opposed to Chen's resuming the post.

He has said Yu should stay on so that Chen will not have one more burden to carry.

Yu resigned over the controversy surrounding the DPP's "normal country resolution," which was passed by the party's national congress last Sunday.

Yu wanted more explicit rhetoric than what was used in the version that passed.

Chen yesterday urged Koo to use his influence to talk Yu out of quitting.

There is still hope of asking Yu to stay during today's Central Executive Committee meeting, Chen said.

Yu, however, said yesterday that he would not change his mind.

"I am determined, and I've said it clearly. I have issued my written statement. It is my political promise," he said while meeting with pro-independence political commentator Wang Ben-hu (汪笨湖).

Yu reiterated his support for Chen to replace him.

He also promised to continue pushing for the normalization of Taiwan as a country.

But he dismissed allegations that he would join January's legislative elections as a legislator-at-large candidate.

"I will focus my efforts on fighting for the party's victory in next year's elections," he said.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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