The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday called on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader to stop blaming others for her problems and focus instead on the infighting within her party.
DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should spend more time and effort dealing with the pressure exerted by her own party members, KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said.
“It’s not what a politician with class would do — to drag the KMT into the fray when she is facing internal dissent,” Su said.
Asked on Monday to comment on the belief that the KMT regarded her as an “imaginary enemy” in the 2012 elections, Tsai said that from the very beginning of the election campaign, she felt the KMT was more anxious about 2012 than anybody else.
“Although the elections are over, they are still using them for political maneuvering. What we are seeing is a president who does not appear to be very confident,” she told reporters.
Su said his party did not want to get involved in the DPP’s internal discord, as it was focused on winning public support with a “rational” and “moderate” approach.
The KMT never saw Tsai as an “imaginary enemy” and welcomed her party to select a viable candidate to engage in “benign competition” in 2012, Su said.
At a different setting yesterday, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who in the wake of the DPP’s showing in Saturday’s elections launched a stinging attack on Tsai, backtracked yesterday, saying the chairperson would not necessarily have to step down, as the DPP obtained more votes than the KMT.
Despite only winning two of the five special municipalities, the DPP obtained 3,772,373 votes, or 49.87 percent of the total, against the KMT’s 3,369,052, or 44.54 percent.
Aside from Lu, some party elders on Monday had also called on Tsai to step down or abandon any presidential aspirations.
The party should now focus on party reform, such as how to have a fair primary system, before turning to the 2012 presidential election and who should run, Lu said.
Former premier Yu Shyi-kun also said he saw no need for Tsai to step down as party leader.
However, he called on the DPP to launch a negotiation process for the selection of candidates for the 2012 election as soon as possible.
Local party branches also rallied behind Tsai yesterday.
On a visit to the party caucus in the legislature, Taipei City branch director Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), Sinbei City branch director Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) and Taoyuan County branch director Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) reaffirmed their support for Tsai.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG AND STAFF WRITER