Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) denied yesterday that she was taking steps toward a bid for the party’s presidential candidacy in 2016, the party said in response to media reports.
“Chairperson Tsai is working on a complete review of the presidential election loss and the DPP’s future direction before her resignation takes effect on March 1. She has not made any plan for her office or worked toward the 2016 candidacy as reported,” DPP spokesperson Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) told a press conference.
“The reports that say Tsai has been preparing to establish her own faction and office could not be further from the truth,” Lo said.
Because Tsai is scheduled to hand over leadership of the party at the end of the month, the race to select the next DPP chairperson has begun, with two more candidates submitting their candidacy yesterday, after several veteran DPP politicians were mentioned as potential contenders.
Academia Sinica Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), who previously served as National Science Council minister and health minister, and former minister of finance Lin Chuan (林全) were reportedly recommended by the DPP’s younger generation to run for the chairpersonship in May, local media reported yesterday.
Both denied the reports, which said that Chen and Lin were Tsai’s confidants and were expected to keep Tsai’s moderate approach in place if elected chairperson, while Lo said the DPP had declined to comment on media speculation.
In a press release issued yesterday afternoon, Chen said he was neither a DPP member nor had any intention to work for a specific political party, although he has always supported democracy and freedom.
Lin was not available for -comment. A close friend of Lin was quoted as saying that Lin, who is not a DPP member, has no intention to run for the position.
Former Tainan County commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) and former DPP legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) had expressed interest in running in the election for chairperson, which is scheduled to be held in late May.
Former premier Su Tseng-cheng (蘇貞昌) was rumored to be interested in assuming the chairpersonship, but Su has made no public comment about his plans.