The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday canceled its party congress scheduled for yesterday, thereby postponing the announcement of its vice-presidential candidate to focus on the potential impact of Typhoon Nanmadol.
The annual party congress was canceled after the Central Weather Bureau issued a land warning for the typhoon late on Saturday.
The most appropriate date for the congress now appears to be Sept. 10, two days before DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) embarks upon a 10-day US visit, Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青), the presidential candidate’s campaign spokesperson.
However, the final date will be decided at the Central Standing Committee’s weekly meeting on Wednesday, she said.
The party wanted to focus on nationwide preparatory work for the typhoon, Hsu said, adding that Tsai had canceled all her public appearances scheduled for yesterday and ordered local party headquarters to offer assistance to local governments where the DPP ruled, she said.
“The DPP would coordinate with its local headquarters to provide disaster relief if the typhoon causes any damage,” she said, such as relief supplies, logistics and equipment as well as deployment of emergency rescue personnel.
The final date of the announcement of Tsai’s running mate is undecided, Hsu said, adding that since the party congress had been postponed, the announcement could be made either during the congress or before Sept. 28, the DPP’s anniversary.
Some DPP legislators have suggested postponing the announcement until after the congress because the annual meeting is supposed to be a good setting to promote the party’s legislative candidates.
“We understand that the announcement will initiate public discussion and will probably distract voters from concentrating on our legislative candidates and presidential platform,” Hsu said.
She denied that central bank Governor Peng Fai-nan (彭淮南), who was believed to be Tsai’s top choice for a running mate, had declined the offer, saying “anything is possible.”
The DPP has up to now been tight-lipped about its possible vice presidential candidates, saying the decision was up to Tsai and a pool of possible nominees was being considered.