Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) resumed her official duties as party chair yesterday morning, returning from a two-month leave of absence to contest the party’s primary ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Tsai, the DPP’s presidential candidate, met party leaders and the DPP legislative caucus in the morning. She faces a backlog as she spearheads both her presidential campaign and the party in the legislative elections, which will be combined with the presidential election on Jan. 14.
Sources close to her campaign said Tsai was expected to officially open her presidential campaign office in July at the earliest, although campaign and reorganization efforts would be ongoing.
She told the party’s legislative leaders yesterday that the elections would be the “biggest task the DPP has ever faced since the party’s founding.”
The party’s most important asset was unity, she said.
“We don’t have the Chinese Nationalist Party’s [KMT] monumental party assets or the advantages that come with governance. We can only rely on unity and the warm backing of our supporters in the next few months,” she said.
DPP caucus chief Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said during the meeting that DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), who, it is speculated, says could be Tsai’s running mate, would play “an important part” in the campaign, but refused to elaborate.
Tsai has been dogged by repeated questions on her choice of vice presidential candidate, with media speculation swirling that the running mate would have an economics background.
Asked for comment yesterday, she denied a decision had been made, but said that a choice would have to receive not just her own endorsement, but also the backing of the entire party.
Meanwhile, the DPP announced that Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), a former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general, has been appointed as a party spokesperson as part of its ongoing personnel shuffle.
Chen has also been appointed to lead the DPP’s Policy Research and Coordinating Committee.