Fri, Mar 12, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Chen Shih-meng calls for Su to run in Sinbei City

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Presidential Office ­secretary-general Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) entered the race for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) nomination for Taipei City mayor yesterday, setting up a likely clash with top DPP contender Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

The 51-year-old Chen, a former Taipei City deputy mayor, said that while he would likely lose to the former premier, the DPP should focus on the bigger picture and ask Su to run in Sinbei City, where he has a better chance of winning.

Su, who is riding high in opinion polls, announced last Wednesday that he would vie for the party’s nomination in Taipei City, putting to rest rumors that he would return to Sinbei City — as Taipei County will be known after it is upgraded into a special municipality — where he previously served two terms as commissioner.

The year-end special municipality elections are seen as an important precursor to the 2012 presidential elections. The KMT currently holds three of the five cities up for grabs, Taipei, Sinbei and Taichung.

If the DPP wins three cities, it could give the party a boost ahead of 2012, Chen said, adding that Sinbei City offered the best chance of a DPP win.

Chen said that while Su was best suited to fight for Sinbei City, his own experience as deputy mayor managing projects such as the Muzha MRT line and the 228 Memorial Park gave him an important advantage in Taipei City.

“These are issues that Taipei City residents care about,” Chen said.

His bid has already been supported by former presidential advisor Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏), who said Chen was the DPP’s best candidate for Taipei City, while calling Su’s announcement “unexpected.”

Su has also attracted his share of supporters, with former DPP Chairperson Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) saying on Wednesday night that he believed Su “could do any job and do it well.”

DPP officials said the party respected all contenders, but added that final decisions would be made by a nine-member nomination team led by DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), and would not comment on individual cases in the meantime.

However, in a sign that Chen’s candidacy could be part of a move to ask Su Tseng-chang to run in Sinbei City, he later said he would “happily back down” if DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was willing to run in Taipei City.

“As Taipei City is the capital, the DPP has to offer [a strong candidate] ... [I] respect Su for his willingness to pick up this heavy burden, but now that [I] am willing to put my name forth, Su can go back to Sinbei City so the DPP can win in three cities,” Chen said in his statement.

In other developments, Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) and DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) yesterday submitted their registration papers to party headquarters to vie for their party’s nominations in Kaohsiung and Tainan respectively.

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