Three televised debates will be held for the five candidates for the party chair position before the May 27 vote, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.
The decision was reached after talks between the five campaigns were held at the party’s national headquarters yesterday afternoon.
Former DPP chairperson Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) and former DPP legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) attended the negotiations in person, while the other candidates sent representatives.
The five camps agreed that the debates would be held in Greater Kaohsiung on Sunday next week, in Greater Taichung on May 6 and in Taipei on May 12.
Two of the three debates will have candidates questioning one another, while the third one will have academics asking the candidates questions.
Hsu proposed a three-point “shared platform” for all five candidates, saying that if all the candidates signed on, there would be less “distractions” in the election.
The three proposed points include a pledge not to run in the 2016 presidential election, not to get involved in party faction operations and to advocate a presidential pardon for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Hsu told a press conference.
Chen is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption.
The three issues would be kept out of the campaign if all five candidates shared the same positions, Hsu said.
“It would benefit the DPP if we could [rather] talk in the televised debates about issues such as party reforms and how to help the DPP win the [presidential] elections in 2014 and 2016,” he said.
Former Tainan County commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) said in a statement that he agreed with the proposal and that he shared the same views as Hsu regarding the three pledges.
Chai appeared reluctant to sign the proposal, telling reporters that he was the first candidate to propose an amnesty for Chen and felt like his platform “had been copied.”