Mon, Feb 21, 2011 - Page 3 News List

DPP heavyweights hint at presidential election bid

By Vincent Y. chao  /  Staff Reporter

Former premier Su Tseng-chang, center, raises a toast during a meeting with members of the Taipei Dental Association and legislators yesterday.

Photo: Lin Shen-hsu, Taipei Times

Several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians continued to hint at a possible presidential run over the weekend, with only two months left before party primaries.

In one of his strongest signals yet, former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said on Saturday he believed a presidential bid would fulfill his ideals, adding that “it is important that ideals are fulfilled every day.”

The 2008 DPP vice presidential nominee denied, however, that he had a timetable for the announcement, contrary to media reports that he could make a declaration on March 6, when his book and video tour ends.

Su traveled to shore up support in the south yesterday, after joining a local dental association for lunch. On Saturday, he went on a tour with conservation groups to protected wetlands in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Wugu District. Not more than two steps behind him, another former premier, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), on Thursday said in a TV interview to be aired tonight that he was also “open” to the idea of a presidential bid, but said that DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was currently a more popular candidate.

“Tsai’s poll ratings are currently higher,” he told Era TV. “If she doesn’t want to run, then [I’ll] consider it.”

While Tsai has not spoken publicly on her position on a presidential bid, she is understood to also be considering the idea, spurred on by grassroots supporters and senior party officials.

Yesterday she told a DPP event for the Tainan legislative by--elections that she was confident the DPP would “take back power” in the Presidential Office next year, after contending that the DPP has seen a resurgence since 2008, when she took the position of chairperson

The DPP plans to use telephone polls to settle the primaries, a controversial decision that has attracted opposition from many party supporters.

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