Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday played down criticism from his long-time political rival and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) upon his return to Taipei after a six-day visit to Europe, stressing party consolidation in an election year.
Su dodged media inquiries about Hsieh’s criticism against his leadership and intention to run both in the chairman election in May and the presidential election in 2016, saying that the most important task for the party is “consolidation and answering the public’s concerns.”
“The most important task for the DPP is consolidation and winning the seven-in-one local election [in November],” Su told reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
Hsieh was quoted by former DPP lawmaker Julian Kuo (郭正亮) as saying in a recent private conversation that he would make Su “miserable to the very end” if the “incompetent” chairman dared to declare a bid on the party’s presidential nomination as a re-elected chairman.
As Kuo’s article was published after Su’s departure and several lawmakers who are close to Hsieh began advocating the idea that the party chairman should not be a presidential candidate around the same time, the moves had been interpreted as an indication of Hsieh’s interests in vying for the DPP chairmanship despite Hsieh giving ambiguous answers about his possible bid.
Hsieh was also reportedly seeking to form a coalition with former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in an the arrangement that would allow Hsieh to run for chairman and Tsai to focus on her presidential campaign.
Tsai, who denied the existence of such an alliance, said yesterday during a visit to New Taipei City (新北市) that while consolidation would be crucial, “the DPP’s inner competition would be inevitable,” adding that the practical goal would be “harmonious competition within the party and the eventual election of a chairman with the mandate of strong member support and social recognition.”
The former DPP presidential candidate has been tight-lipped about her plans, but could have the same strategy as Su, looking to win the chairmanship before securing the presidential nomination.
The highlights of Su’s trip to Germany, Belgium and the UK included visits to the European Parliament and the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where he said in a speech that the DPP would not revise the Taiwan independence clause in its party charter, but that the party would seek active and confident engagement with China.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up