The candidates for the May 27 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson election drew lots yesterday to determine the number under which each candidate will be running.
Aside from former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who had travel plans and had his lot drawn in absentia, all of the other candidates — former party chairperson Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), former Tainan County commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智), Taiwan Brain Trust chairperson Wu Rong-i (吳榮義) and former legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) — did so in person.
Chai drew No. 1, Su Huan-chih No. 2, Hsu No. 3, Wu No. 4 and Su Tseng-chang No. 5.
Prior to the draw, Hsu unfurled a poster and called on those who had agreed with the ideals written on the poster to sign their names alongside his.
The poster called for the new party chairperson not to participate in the 2016 presidential election, to push for a pardon for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison sentence on corruption charges, and to be above party factionalism.
While Su Huan-chih signed immediately, Wu and Chai did not.
“Hsu’s proposals are identical to mine and while the DPP cannot truly separate itself from the rights and wrongs of the Chen administration, we should be able to give some sort of predication on the issue,” Su Huan-chih said, adding that the DPP had to come to terms with the issue and not simply avoid it.
“The next chairman will have to deflect some of the shots being directed at the DPP, and the candidate for the 2016 presidential election should not have to face that problem,” Su Huan-chih said.
The party chairman should also be someone who can deal with social conflict, he said.
Commenting on his decision not to sign Hsu’s petition, Wu said he understood Hsu’s intentions and that it was precisely because of his understanding and the wish to promote party unity that he did not sign.
“My participation in the chairpersonship election is an effort to unify the party and not to block someone from the presidential election,” Wu said.
Seeking to block the chairman from participating in the presidential election would only lead to more suspicion and division, Wu said.
He added that the loss of the 2008 presidential election and the fact that the DPP only won two of the five special municipality elections was a direct consequence of this.