Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) remained low-key about whether she would seek the party’s chairmanship again, even as discussions about possible contenders becomes more heated.
“I am still thinking about it and there is no timetable set for the official announcement of my decision. I hope that I can give it more thought,” Tsai said on the sidelines of the Taipei International Book Exhibition, where she took part in a forum.
Tsai was responding to a report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily, which said she would announce her bid for the May election today.
Tsai’s office had denied the report earlier in the day, with office spokesperson Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福) saying that Tsai “has no plan to unveil her decision this week as reported.”
Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) is the only person so far to have announce he plans to run. However, both Tsai and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) are widely expected to enter the race.
Meanwhile, the internal debate about the primary format and process for the Taipei mayoral election in November remains intense, with different developments emerging almost daily.
Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who is seeking to be the party’s candidate for the Taipei election, yesterday denied a report on the Storm Media Web site, which claimed she would withdraw from the DPP because she was so unhappy with the primary process.
Citing unnamed sources, the report said the DPP has decided that it would not nominate its own candidate for the Taipei election, but would support National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) independent bid.
“[The report] is not true. I believe that the DPP will respect its own regulations,” Lu told reporters yesterday afternoon.
Lu and attorney Wellington Koo (顧立雄), another Taipei primary hopeful, are reportedly both unhappy with the DPP’s delays in settling its primary format, especially in regard to whether Ko would be included in the public opinion poll that serves as the party’s primary.
Ko is currently the frontrunner among the six declared and possible pan-green camp aspirants.
Lu has vehemently opposed Ko’s inclusion in the primary, insisting that the DPP must nominate its own candidate, while Koo has said he hopes the party will end the dispute as soon as possible.
Koo told reporters yesterday that he planned to submit his own proposal tomorrow to resolve the debate “that has dragged on too long and gotten on everyone’s nerves.”
DPP Central Executive Committee member Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) said that he would propose adopting a “one phase” format — which would include Ko in the public opinion poll along with other DPP aspirants — at the committee’s regular meeting on Wednesday.
The DPP has been struggling between the so-called “one phase” and “two phase” formats for the primary because of Ko’s popularity. The “one phase” format would see Ko included with DPP members in the party’s public opinion poll, while the other option would have a DPP-only initial poll, with the winner of that facing Ko in a second poll to determine who will be the party’s candidate.