Sat, Apr 26, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Chen Shih-meng supports Koo’s chairmanship bid

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former secretary-general of the Presidential Office Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) yesterday came out in support of former senior presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming’s (辜寬敏) bid to become Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman.

The election of the DPP’s new chairperson is not about responding to appeals from specific DPP party members, factions or the “Young Turks,” but is about the expectations and sadness of 5.44 million DPP voters over the party’s failure in the March 22 presidential election, Chen said.

“On that matter, Koo is the one and only candidate,” Chen said.

The other two candidates for the election scheduled for May 18 are former vice premier Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), 52, and DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮), 73.

Tsai is backed by the party’s younger generation, which hopes she can transform the party so that it would stand a better chance of winning back voters who have been disappointed by the party’s performance over the last eight years.

Chen said he disagreed with the argument that the party should review its traditional line and move toward the center and closer to swing voters.

“If those are the considerations in choosing a DPP chairperson, we won’t be able to revive the party. We might as well think about the possibility of abandoning the DPP,” Chen said.

Well-known Hakka fiction writer Li Chiao (李喬) also threw his support behind Koo, saying that Tsai was supported by factions of the party, which would make it difficult for her to reform the party’s “factional” politics.

Koo, 82, said he would set up a campaign office next week to demonstrate his determination to win and that Chen would be in charge of his campaign.

DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh’s (謝長廷) long-term aid Hsu Kuo-yong (徐國勇), a former DPP legislator, also backed Koo’s bid. He said he was not there on behalf of Hsieh.

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