Thu, Apr 15, 2010 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislators unified in support for Tsai

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers hold a banner and raise their fists in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday to show their support for DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s re-election campaign.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

All 33 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday pledged their support for DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in her bid for re-election.

“We can stay silent no longer. It's important for us to come out and confidently express … our support for Tsai,” said DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) speaking on behalf of a group of DPP lawmakers in front of the legislature yesterday. “She brought this party out of its darkest hour.”

While Tsai was originally expected to run unopposed for re-election following a string of election successes during the last two months, former Taipei County commissioner You Ching (尤清) made a last-minute announcement last week that he would also be vying for the DPP chair.

You is one of the DPP's founders and his bid has also attracted the backing of a number of prominent DPP heavyweights including both former DPP chairman Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) and DPP caucus whip Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮).

While Chai was originally the lone DPP lawmaker that refused to sign a petition to show support for Tsai's re-election, Ker confirmed yesterday evening that Chai had decided to join them.

It is unclear what this means for You's campaign because Chai was one of his staunchest backers, standing beside the former commissioner during his announcement.

You, who is also vying for the DPP's nomination for mayor of Sinbei City in year-end elections, is expected to make another appearance at DPP headquarters today to fill out election forms.

The election battle between Tsai and You has some media reports pointing to a split between some party elders and You against Tsai and her supporters.

You has expressed dissatisfaction with Tsai's DPP policies saying that the controversial measure to have some party nominations chosen by a nomination team was “undemocratic,” and alienated many original party elders.

In response, supporters of the incumbent chairperson — who was first elected in May 2008 — credit her with turning the party around following a string of disastrous election defeats in the 2008 presidential and legislative elections.

“Tsai is best suited to lead this party,” said a group of potential DPP candidates for city councilor rallying in front of the DPP’s central party headquarters in Taipei yesterday. “It has been really hard work for her and we want to give her all of our support.”

The DPP chairperson elections will take place on May 23, conducted through a paper ballot of all registered party members.

In other news, former Government Information Office director-general Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) who's bidding for the DPP's nomination for Greater Taichung mayor has halted his election activities after a meeting with the party's Central Executive Committee yesterday afternoon.

Lin said his decision was to enable the party “greater freedom” in choosing its candidate, but stressed that it did not mean that he would be backing out from the race. He also called on the DPP and its nomination team to hasten their selection process.

In response DPP Spokesperson Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said the party respected Lin's decision and that he trusted the nomination team would eventually choose the best candidate.

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