Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Analysts ponder Tsai Ing-wen’s political future

RUMOR MILL:Taipei’s mayoral election is fueling discussion among analysts over who the DPP candidate will be, with some saying generational change is the party’s best bet

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Analysts and a former senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official do not think that former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should run in Taipei’s 2014 mayoral election, despite some DPP members having put forward a proposal for her to be their nominee.

“The proposition was not surprising, but it doesn’t make sense, nor is it logical,” the former offical, who preferred to remain anonymous, said yesterday.

With Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰), tipped as favorites to secure the KMT nomination in the capital’s next mayoral election, political analysts and DPP members began speculating about possible DPP candidates.

Several DPP members said Tsai would be the best candidate for Taipei, which has always been one of the party’s weakest constituencies.

Among them was former DPP lawmaker Kuo Cheng-liang (郭正亮), who said in an online posting yesterday that there would be no better candidate than Tsai, who is popular, charismatic and has vision and a global perspective.

“Winning Taipei would be symbolic and inspiring for the DPP, but it cannot be done without a special candidate,” Kuo wrote.

However, the former official said the proposition does not make sense because Tsai, who is believed to be interested in taking another run at the presidency, would be “taking a step backward” if she ran in the mayoral election.

“Matching up a DPP heavyweight with KMT candidates who are in their 40s and 50s also hurts the DPP’s future development,” he said, adding that the KMT has begun a generational change in its leadership.

Hung Chih-kun (洪智坤), member of the DPP Central Executive Committee, agreed that generational change is the right direction to take and listed Taipei City Councilor Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and Taipei City Council Deputy Speaker Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) as ideal candidates.

Tsai has never expressed a clear intention to run either in the 2016 presidential election or the 2014 special municipality elections since her defeat in the Jan. 14 presidential election.

She said in a recent interview that the DPP should “nurture and explore more young talent” to win in a place that possesses a unique electoral demography like Taipei.

Political analyst Chang Kuo-cheng (張國城) said it would not be a smart move for Tsai to enter the Taipei mayoral election because the vote “is basically unwinnable” for the DPP.

“Even if Tsai wins the election, it would not benefit her presidential campaign since she would inevitably face the dilemma between serving out her term or resigning early to run the presidential campaign,” he said.

Chang said the DPP would be better off nominating a young candidate in Taipei to give campaign experience to younger members.

If Tsai does decide to enter the special municipality elections, Greater Taichung could be a better constituency for her, Chang said.

“First, Taichung would be highly winnable for Tsai, who would run against unpopular incumbent Jason Hu (胡志強). Second, if the DPP were to win Taichung, it would then be guaranteed a victory in the five special municipality elections by winning Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung,” he added.

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