Thu, Apr 28, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Su concedes defeat in DPP primaries

MAINTAINING UNITY:Former premier Su Tseng-chang immediately called on all of those who backed him to throw their support behind Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Former premier Su Tseng-chang concedes defeat in the Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential primary poll at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) conceded defeat in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primary yesterday and urged his followers to support DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who won the race by a slim margin.

“I humbly accept the result and I strongly hope the party can be united and fully support Tsai,” Su somberly told a press conference, which was held shortly after the poll result was released showing Tsai won by 1.35 percentage points.

“The 2012 presidential election will be a tough battle,” Su said. “The people that support me and support Taiwan should come together for Tsai and for the DPP. Let’s see Taiwan once again change its political landscape to let Taiwan have a bit more dignity, fairness and happiness.”

“Our goal is to give Taiwan greater dignity, make our society more just and build a country in which all Taiwanese can live happily,” he added.

Sources from both campaigns confirmed that Su made a phone call to Tsai offering his congratulations shortly after the poll result was announced.

A Su aide said his camp had not yet discussed details on how they would assist Tsai’s campaign, adding that both sides would discuss the matters in the coming days.

Sources at Tsai’s campaign revealed that Tsai would go on a “goodwill” trip to meet with senior party leaders as well as Su and former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), who trailed the two frontrunners, likely before May 4.

Avoiding damaging party splits, especially among Su’s and Tsai’s supporters, was a critical task which Tsai addressed in her speech yesterday.

“Hsu, Su and I all represent the DPP, a multicultural, democratic and progressive party,” Tsai said. “The primaries aren’t about the success of any one person, but represent a step forward for the entire party.”

“This first step is the start of a greater responsibility and a willingness to take on a difficult [journey]. Nobody can complete this alone,” she added.

Tsai also made reference to a recurring theme during her primary campaign, tying herself with the resurgence of the DPP after she first took the helm in 2008, after the party lost both the presidential and legislative elections.

“The reason the DPP was able to pick itself up and start over again in the past three years was because of unity,” she said. “In the time I have led the DPP, there has been no factionalism among management and staff.”

Maintaining unity will be a major focus of her campaign, and there is expected to be a major shake-up of personnel and resources.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG AND CNA

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