Wed, Feb 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Yao downplays rumors of DPP quitting Taipei

MAYORAL RACE:While President Tsai Ing-wen has not committed to fielding a candidate, she knows the party backs the idea, DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao said

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu, left, and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Pasuya Yao shake hands yesterday at Pop Radio in Taipei, where they went to attend separate interviews.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is keenly aware of the growing support within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for the party to nominate its own candidate in the Taipei mayoral election, DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said yesterday, amid growing speculation that the party would once again withdraw from the race.

Political commentator Yao Li-ming (姚立明), who has pledged his support to Pasuya Yao’s plan to join the DPP’s Taipei mayoral primary, on Monday said that the DPP would again forgo the Taipei election.

Yao Li-ming’s remark was “reverse psychology” to spur the DPP to join the election, the legislator said.

Yao Li-ming said the election would become a one-on-one competition between Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), with the DPP throwing its support behind Ko.

Pasuya Yao said he had been in talks with Tsai about the election.

“Tsai did not promise [to field a DPP candidate], but she has taken notice of the growing sentiment within the DPP toward nominating its own candidate,” he said in a radio interview.

The DPP has the ability to secure 40 percent of the votes in the Taipei election, with the party winning the Taipei mayoral seat in a three-player race in 1994, when then-DPP lawmaker Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) defeated his KMT and New Party rivals.

A three-player race is favorable to the DPP in Taipei, a traditional KMT stronghold, and the DPP could win the election if it is united, he said.

If former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who has declared her intention to join the DPP mayoral primary, proves to be a worthier candidate, he would withdraw from the primary and support Lu’s bid to ensure party solidarity, Pasuya Yao said.

“The KMT is no longer the arch-enemy of the DPP,” he said, contradicting DPP Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu’s (洪耀福) comment that the KMT was still powerful, despite suffering a landslide defeat in the general elections two years ago.

Beijing is still betting on the possibility of a KMT revival, Hung said on Sunday, but added that it would require another KMT defeat to crush the conservative power opposing reform and create a new chapter in cross-strait development.

Pasuya Yao disagreed, saying that Beijing no longer views the KMT as a worthy partner.

The DPP should stand by its principles and make improvements along the way instead of clinging to an outdated mindset of a blue-green divide, he said.

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