Sat, Jan 26, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Su Jia-chyuan ready to be Tsai’s running mate

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan speaks at an event at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Thursday to welcome the upcoming Lunar New Year and send off children graduating from the legislature’s kindergarten.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday said that he was open to running for vice president if President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) were to seek re-election next year.

In an interview with the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Su was asked whether he would be willing to team up with Tsai if the president were to make the request.

Saying that he is a “cooperative member” of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Su said he would “let fate decide.”

“As long as the public still needs my services, I shall do my best,” he said.

Su said that he would gladly assume any role that the public needs him to and that he would not cling to his post.

On the other hand, if public opinion calls for another vice presidential candidate, he could retire and return to his hometown, he said.

Citing his extensive experience, Su said that there is no other person who has served in as many public offices as he has.

One task he wants to achieve during his last year in office is to conduct a survey among legislators and the public on whether to move the Legislative Yuan to Taichung.

Moving the legislature to Kaohsiung is not feasible because it would greatly inconvenience officials in Taipei who need to attend legislative meetings, he said.

Taichung is a more fitting location, he added.

Taiwan is an economically developed nation, but its legislative buildings cannot compare with the majestic parliaments of the UK, France or Sweden, he said.

Legislators’ offices are spread out over many buildings outside the legislative compound because of space limitations, he said.

Relocating the legislature would cost about NT$20 billion (US$648.8 million), so the proposal requires extensive communication, or there could be a major backlash from the public, he said.

Su also confirmed that he had wanted to resign as speaker last year to run for DPP chairperson after Tsai stepped down to assume responsibility for the DPP’s devastating losses in the local elections.

However, the media had misrepresented Tsai, as he wanted to run of his own initiative, not at Tsai’s request, he said.

He said he wanted to run because no other prominent DPP figure was willing to do so at the time, which made the party “look bad,” so he told former DPP secretary-general Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福) that he was up to the task.

However, he dropped the idea after criticism that he was “abandoning the legislature” and after then-Executive Yuan secretary-general Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) announced his bid, Su said.

Cho is very diplomatic and more experienced, so he thought “things would be alright,” he said.

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