Mon, Feb 14, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Party can achieve unity, Tsai says

DEJA VU:Some DPP supporters are concerned there will be a split between Tsai and Su ahead of the 2012 election, similar to a damaging split prior to the 2008 election

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

Crowds of worshipers praying at Fuan Temple in Checheng County, Pingtung County, to celebrate the birthday of the local earth god, gather around Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen as she visits the temple yesterday.

Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsien, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said she was confident that the sometimes fractious party would manage to achieve unity ahead of the presidential election next year.

Visiting Pingtung County, where she attended a series of cultural activities and distributed red envelopes, Tsai said the party would bring a better team together to face its opponent.

For his part, former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who was visiting Chiayi County, was greeted by crowds encouraging him to run in the presidential election.

Responding to the calls, Su said: “My thought is the same as everybody’s.”

So far, Su, seen by many as the candidate with the best chances for the DPP, has been noncommittal over rumors of a possible run in the presidential election.

Tsai and Su have both been very active in visiting various parts of the country, sparking concerns among some supporters of a possible split between the two ahead of the election.

A similar split is believed to have been one of the principal factors behind the DPP’s poor showing in the presidential election in 2008.

Tsai said last week she was evaluating the wisdom and feasibility of taking part in next year’s presidential race.

Also last week, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) — who lost to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in 2008 by a margin of slightly less than 17 percent, or about 2.2 million votes — also said he remained open to the possibility of running for president next year.

The mystery surrounding future possible candidates comes in the wake of recent gains by the party in various local elections, with substantial improvement in the popular vote since Hsieh’s lackluster performance against Ma in 2008.

Additional reporting by Staff Writer and CNA

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