Sun, Dec 30, 2018 - Page 3 News List

DPP chair hopefuls bandy insults on TV

LABEL MAKERS:Michael You said the DPP’s greatest challenge is that its powerful members will not speak the truth, while Cho Jung-tai accused You of being ‘divisive’

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party chairmanship candidates Executive Yuan Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai, left, and Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation chairman Michael You shake hands before a televised debate yesterday in Taipei.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) and Executive Yuan Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) yesterday traded barbs at a campaign event ahead of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson election on Sunday next week.

The televised event in Taipei started with the candidates each making a speech about their policies and vision before they asked each other questions.

Before taking the stage, Chou said on the sidelines that he could not persuade DPP members not to vote for You, but he would let them realize for themselves which choice would benefit the party.

“Is it taking 100 lonely steps? Or is it taking one step by uniting 100 people?” asked Cho, who is backed by a group of “middle-generation” DPP politicians, including Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) and Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲).

You on the sidelines said he has not only 100, but tens of thousands of grassroots supporters, all of whom decided to support him of their own accord after seeing the party’s “meaningless” reflection on its election defeats last month.

“The grass roots are both indignant and worried,” You said. “They are upset about the dominant faction [in the DPP] and are at a complete loss after seeing that faction rallying behind a candidate.”

“According to them, my entry in the race has given it meaning,” he added.

During their speeches, the two accused each other of attaching labels.

Cho expressed frustration with You’s accusation that he is a “royalist” and criticized You’s campaign tactics as “divisive.”

You said that he was only telling the truth, and by calling him divisive, Cho was the one attaching labels.

Questions such as what mistakes President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had made and why people decided to “teach the DPP a lesson” must be answered, or else the party is on a course of greater defeat, he said.

The biggest problem facing the DPP is that its powerful members are reluctant to speak the truth, You added.

During cross-questioning, Cho ridiculed You for “having never won” an election and asked him whether he has a “winning plan.”

He was referring to You’s electoral losses when representing the DPP in his bid for Hualien county commissioner in 1997 and for legislator in 1998 and 2001.

You said he was disappointed in Cho for asking such a “childish” question.

He was drafted by the party on all three occasions, You said, adding that even though he lost to former Hualien county commissioner Wang Ching-feng (王慶豐) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), he had netted the largest number of votes the DPP had garnered in the KMT stronghold to date.

“Run [for commissioner] in Hualien. Let’s see how many votes you get,” You said.

Cho also panned You for “exposing many problems” with his foundation, but not solving any.

You fired back by saying that his job as the head of a nongovernmental organization is to identify problems with the government, which is responsible for solving them.

He said he has offered Cho the foundation’s findings on many occasions, but the government has been slow to respond to public opinion.

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