Mon, Jul 19, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Tsai Ing-wen solidifies leadership of DPP

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) leadership of the party appears to have been cemented last night following elections for two key DPP bodies held after a session of the party congress.

Supporters of the two-term chairperson are believed to have won at least six of the 10 seats in the DPP’s Central Standing Committee and seven seats in the 30-member Central Executive Committee, sources said.

The two bodies are seen as major indicators of support within the party, holding the authority to ­determine party candidates for the 2012 legislative and presidential elections. The committees also hold the power to decide the DPP’s future direction and pass resolutions.

The election came as further confirmation of the direction in which the reform-minded Tsai is taking the party.

Observers said she had received wide recognition within the DPP for leading the party to victory in three recent elections. Tsai won her re-election campaign for party chairperson with 90.29 percent of the vote in May.

In the Central Executive Committee elections, supporters of ­former Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who is running in Taipei City, are believed to have won five seats and supporters of former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) three.

Hsieh took the highest number of votes in the executive committee and the standing committee elections, at 17 votes and four votes respectively.

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) also won a seat in the executive committee, though she failed to take a seat in the more important standing committee. Speaking to reporters, she denied she was behind a bid to put herself in the standing committee, saying she did not vote for herself despite being on the ballot.

The youngest member of the standing committee is Mark Ho (何志偉), a 28-year-old DPP candidate for Taipei City councilor. Meanwhile, party veteran DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) narrowly missed losing his spot on the standing committee, having lost an election draw after tying with seven candidates.

Former acting Banciao City mayor Chang Hung-lu (張宏陸) gave up his standing committee seat for Chen after what is believed was a personal phone call from Su.

In related news, the DPP party congress unanimously approved a resolution yesterday urging former DPP chairperson Lin Yi-hsiung (林義雄) to rejoin the party to boost its chances ahead of the year-end special municipality elections.

Lin, a key figure of the democracy movement, withdrew from politics a decade ago, despite successfully leading former President Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) election campaign to victory in 2000. He withdrew from the DPP, a party his movement helped found, in 2006.

Former DPP Legislator Derek Chen (陳金德), who proposed the resolution, said Lin represented homegrown values of honesty and selflessness, which would aid the DPP in the Nov. 27 elections.

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