Sat, May 17, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Koo’s aide tries to turn election into a factional fight

OPPOSING THE NEW TIDE Koo Kwang-ming’s aide said the DPP would have a greater chance of splitting if the party veteran wins the DPP’s chairmanship election tomorrow

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Outgoing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Frank Hsieh, center, yesterday signs a doll for a DPP official as he says goodbye at the party’s headquarters.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

An aide of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairmanship candidate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) yesterday tried to turn tomorrow’s election into a competition between the party’s disbanded factions.

“The DPP will have a greater chance of splitting if Koo wins the chairmanship election, because the [disbanded] New Tide faction might decide to leave the party,” Koo’s campaign manager and former secretary-general of the Presidential Office Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) said yesterday.

Chen made the remarks during an interview with a Tainan-based radio station in an attempt to appeal to party members who oppose the disbanded New Tide faction.

The DPP voted to dissolve all its factions in July 2006, but the New Tide faction, which often drew the ire of the other factions, has been accused of disbanding in name only.

Koo’s rival in the election, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), has been labeled a member of the faction, despite the fact that she did not become a registered DPP member until 2004.

The two candidates have outlined different approaches to leading the party, with the 82-year-old Koo concentrating on the party’s role in advocating Taiwan’s independence, while the younger Tsai, who has served as vice premier and Mainland Council Affairs chairwoman, has proposed a pragmatic approach to dealing with cross-strait relations and other issues.

Chen suggested Tsai compete with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) in the 2010 Taipei mayoral election, saying that the next election for local government heads will be an important step for the DPP to regaining power in the 2012 presidential election.

In related news, DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday that he would form a shadow government to watch over the incoming KMT administration after handing over his position to his successor on Wednesday.

“I won’t take a do-nothing attitude on the development of the DPP, even when I am a normal party member,” Hsieh said.

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