Thu, Apr 21, 2011 - Page 3 News List

DPP candidates end TV presentations off strong

PLATFORMS:Hsu Hsin-liang said he would make further cuts to the military, nominate a ‘special ambassador’ to China and even push for a pardon for Chen Shui-bian

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Through most of the session, Hsu, who is trailing heavily in polls, maintained his commitment to closer cross-strait ties. If elected, he said he would reduce the military, end Taiwan’s dollar diplomacy and look into modeling Taiwan after a “European social welfare state,” he said, adding he would nominate a “special ambassador to China.”

He would also push for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to be granted a presidential pardon, arguing that the move would lower political tensions.

Absent yesterday from the last-ditch effort by Tsai and Su was any criticism of each other, consistent with past pleas to keep up party unity even as the DPP heads into its closest presidential primary race yet, judging by recent polls.

In emotional performances near the end of the session, the two used the closing remarks to stress that whether they win or lose the primaries, both would continue to support the DPP’s presidential campaign.

The DPP was more important than any one candidate, they said.

“Win or lose, we are all part of the same party … and I will never leave the party I helped found,” Su said. “The party is more important than one single person, but Taiwan is even more important than one single party. And we must unite the party and unite Taiwan.”

If he lost the primaries, he said, he would continue on as a “volunteer for Taiwan,” he said — stopping short of stating any concrete plans.

Tsai, meanwhile, also repeated her earlier remarks that all three candidates “represented the DPP” and praised the maturity of the primaries for avoiding the damaging splits that have characterized past party presidential candidate nominations.

“It’s a testament to the maturity of the DPP and to our primaries that we can have these policy sessions today,” she said.

The session is the last of four televised policy sessions that have largely continued the stalemate between Tsai and Su. The official telephone polls will start on Monday and a winner is expected as soon as Wednesday.

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