Mon, May 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

DPP has set its goals for Nov. 24 elections: sources

By Yang Chun-hui and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) minimum goal for the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections is to win more than half the positions, and achieve a breakthrough, sources said, adding that winning the New Taipei City mayoral race would be a huge victory for the party.

The DPP holds 13 of the 22 mayor and county commissioner posts, including Chiayi City and Penghu County — places that it has said could be tough to retain.

While it is facing some difficult races, it is confident about its chances, party sources said.

The DPP’s electoral strategy committee is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss the Taipei mayoral election.

If the committee decides that the party should nominate its own candidate instead of backing independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), it would gather party members who have said they are interested in challenging Ko — including DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) — to discuss the nomination mechanism.

The DPP Central Executive Committee would have to approve the arrangement, but a DPP nominee could be named by the end of the month, if that is the choice.

Given that many DPP members disapprove of Ko, the party could be learning toward nominating its own candidate.

Although some DPP supporters have voiced hopes that Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) or Premier William Lai (賴清德) would run for the Taipei job, the party’s former New Tide faction, which Chen and Lai have been associated with, has dismissed the possibility.

Chen has said that she would not run for Taipei mayor and that the chances of Lai doing so is slim.

The DPP electoral strategy committee last week met with DPP Taipei city councilors, borough wardens and others to discuss the race, according to an anonymous source who attended the meeting.

The majority of the attendees backed the idea of a DPP candidate and their opinion has been passed on to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the DPP’s chairperson, the source said.

Although committee convener Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) did not speak extensively about the election, he did say that Ko is a difficult problem for the party, the source added.

In related news, Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) on Friday night reportedly met with members of his “faction” over dinner in Taipei.

Yao was among the attendees, and Hsieh, urged Yao to learn from the “Abe spirit,” referring to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a person who attended the dinner said.

While economic growth is the top priority, Hsieh told Yao that he should consider something besides large-scale construction projects, the source said.

He said the DPP’s long-term support for disadvantaged groups could be transformed into policy to expand Yao’s interpretation of Taiwanese values, the source said.

Yao said he would propose relevant policies, the source said, adding that Hsieh urged Yao to work hard to boost his approval rating, adding that Yao has a good chance in the Taipei race.

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