Former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday refused calls to declare a presidential bid despite an expected announcement by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) today.
Asked for comment, Su said he “respected” Tsai’s decision, but was noncommittal when asked whether he would attend her announcement in the morning.
The two are seen as the DPP’s frontrunners in the party primaries, although Su reportedly has yet to make a final decision concerning his own bid.
Sources at his office said a decision was imminent.
Su, who led a failed bid for Taipei City mayor last November, has ramped up his visits to local businesses and residents across the country through his “Eball Foundation” — regarded as a clear precursor to a presidential campaign.
“Today and in the future, I will continue my battle,” Su said on a visit to a bakery in New Taipei City (新北市) yesterday.
A peaceful life and a happy job are “the basic needs of the public and why I got into politics,” he said.
However, sources said that Su, eager to avoid a damaging standoff with Tsai in the primaries, was still evaluating his chances, the key reason why he had yet to announce a bid.
Asked whether his comments meant he had not abandoned a run for the presidency, Su did not answer.
Meanwhile, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who declared her intention to run for office on Feb. 28, said she gave Tsai her best wishes.
“[Tsai] has been preparing for this for a long time,” she said.
Asked if she would attend Tsai’s announcement today, Lu said she was unsure whether she had other plans and would not confirm whether she had received an invitation.