Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), both of whom have widely been viewed as the most likely candidates to seek the DPP’s nomination for next year’s presidential election, held a one-on-one private meeting yesterday, their first since the special municipality elections in late November.
The meeting came as former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) announced her intention to run in the presidential election.
According to DPP spokesperson Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), Tsai and Su met to discuss the political situation and a potential struggle within the party resulting from the upcoming presidential primary, a concern which Cheng said has been expressed by many pan-green supporters.
During their one-hour meeting at DPP headquarters, the pair discussed the current political situation, the presidential primary and other issues. They both recognized DPP supporters’ expectations and anxiety about the primary, Cheng said.
Tsai and Su have yet to confirm whether they intend to run in next year’s presidential election, though Su on Friday, when asked to comment on Lu’s decision to run in the presidential race, hinted at a run for the DPP’s presidential nomination by citing his “perfect” background as a reason to give him another opportunity to “do something that meets the public’s expectations.”
Meanwhile, Lu will officially announce her decision to run in the 2012 presidential election today at a rally in Taipei’s Da-an Forest Park.
According to Lu’s office, more than 1,000 supporters are expected to attend.
Lu’s team said she had invited Tsai and Su to attend the rally, but Tsai had said she would be attending a memorial ceremony for the 64th anniversary of the 228 Incident in Yilan County
Su said he was scheduled to campaign for the party’s candidates ahead of legislative by-elections in the south.
In a statement detailing reasons behind her decision to run in the presidential election, Lu said that on Feb. 28, 1947, Taiwanese were massacred by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials, a tragedy that has haunted Taiwan for more than 60 years.
The 66-year-old Lu said she had devoted herself to Taiwan’s democratic movement all her life and that as she looked back at the difficult process of democratization, she could not bear to witness the loss of Taiwan’s sovereignty, the hollowing-out of its national defense, its “diplomatic shock” and economic problems.
“This is my final war,” the statement said.
One of Lu’s assistants said the rally was not a DPP event and that the public was invited to attend.
Lu yesterday also unveiled her campaign billboards in Greater Tainan. They also began appearing in Taipei City, New Taipei City (新北市), Taoyuan County and Greater Taichung.
Lu said more campaign activities would soon be held to promote her election bid.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER