Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday she would seek re-election for a second two-year term as party chief.
“Our party is faced with many variables and many [issues] that need addressing ... I believe that my re-election bid is the best decision for the stability of this party,” Tsai told reporters after a meeting of the DPP’s Standing Committee.
The announcement came amid calls from DPP Taipei County councilors that Tsai run in Sinbei City during the year-end special municipality elections.
Party insiders said Tsai’s statement indicated of her lack of intert in joining the December polls.
“If she had to choose a job, it would be party chair ... it’s her ideal job and where her ambition stops,” a party source said.
Tsai yesterday conveyed her decision to DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chuan (蘇嘉全), head of the nomination team charged with selecting candidates for Taipei, Sinbei and Greater Taichung in December’s elections.
The 53-year-old London School of Economics graduate has been praised for turning the DPP around after the party suffered disastrous defeats in the 2008 presidential and legislative elections.
Her announcement was quickly supported by senior party officials, who praised Tsai’s leadership skills and said that it was only natural that Tsai would run for re-election given her success in reviving the party.
“Tsai led this party out of its darkest hour,” said Chen Ming-wen (陳明文), a DPP legislator and Central Executive Committee member.
“Everybody wishes to see Tsai continue to take the party forward,” Chen said.
The DPP’s recent electoral successes show that the public also approves of Tsai’s leadership style, Chen added.
The Chinese-language China Times newspaper claimed yesterday that former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), former Presidential Office secretary-general Mark Chen (陳唐山) and DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) were also considering running for party chair.
However, Lu and Chai have denied such intentions and DPP officials said that the report had “no basis.”
Chai told reporters that he had no interest in running for the top spot and joked: “This whole thing isn’t true, so don’t make things up or Tsai might knock me on the head.”
A press release by Lu’s office also denied the report, saying she seldom ventures into party affairs.
Meanwhile, Mark Chen reportedly said he would wait until after the nominations for the year-end elections were completed before making a decision.
Elections for the position will take place in May, conducted via a paper ballot of all registered party members.
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