Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) pledged to do her best to nip possible election “mutinies” in the bud in the two southern municipalities.
In the past days, local media reported that two DPP local government heads, Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) and Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), might quit the party to run as independents in November’s municipality elections in defiance of DPP primary results.
The elections, scheduled to take place on Nov. 27 in five special municipalities, are widely seen as a crucial indicator for the 2012 presidential election.
They will be held in Taipei City, Sinbei City (an upgrade of Taipei County), Greater Taichung (an merger of Taichung City and county), Greater Tainan (a merger of Tainan City and county) and Greater Kaohsiung (an merger of Kaohsiung City and county).
Party sources said the DPP would ask two of its mayoral candidates — Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and DPP Legislator William Lai (賴清德), who will run in Tainan — to demonstrate their sincerity by seeking the support of Yang and Hsu.
Several DPP heavyweights have rushed south to forge party “solidarity,” which in effect means persuading Yang and Hsu not to compete in the elections, said Tsai, who is carrying the DPP flag in the Sinbei race.
The south has traditionally been regarded as a DPP stronghold.
On media reports that the DPP had accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of trying to drive a wedge between the DPP candidates and Yang and Hsu, Tsai said that as the ruling party, the KMT “should desist from such actions and mind its own business.”
Former DPP legislator Julian Kuo (郭正亮) has accused KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) of stirring up trouble for the DPP.
“I have never contacted any DPP figures and the DPP should not try to blame others for its own problems,” King said on Sunday in response to the accusations.
“The KMT will do its utmost to win the elections on its own, rather than by relying on infighting among DPP members,” he said.