Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday said that he would not join next year’s presidential election as President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) running mate if Tsai seeks re-election.
Su made the statement on media personality Clara Chou’s (周玉蔻) radio program when asked by Chou about his career plans, saying that he would not be a good complement to Tsai.
Both he and Tsai are from Pingtung County and have overlapping resources at their disposal, he said.
Tsai should partner with someone with a different forte, as this would benefit her campaign, said Su, who is viewed as a member of Tsai’s clique.
Asked whether former premier William Lai (賴清德) or Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) would be ideal running mates for Tsai, Su cited their performance and said that both would be of considerable help to Tsai’s potential re-election bid.
However, he urged people not to speculate too much, as the result would ultimately depend on the willingness of the two to run for vice president.
It is too early to discuss the issue, which can be decided as late as September, he said.
Asked by Chou whether Tsai would still be nominated by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) if she were trailing in the polls, Su said there is no stronger presidential candidate in the party.
The general consensus within the party is that Tsai has the best chance of winning the presidential election and that she is the best candidate to shoulder the task, he said.
The party’s losses in November last year’s local elections could not be wholly attributed to Tsai, who is in charge of cross-strait ties, diplomacy and national defense, Su said.
From the perspective of diplomacy, even though the nation has lost several diplomatic allies since Tsai assumed office, the number of nations that have sent a delegation to visit the Legislative Yuan had risen to 105, compared with 86 from February 2012 to February 2016, he said.
Asked whether he would accept being nominated as a legislator-at-large by the DPP, Su said he would.
If the party thinks he has done a good job as legislative speaker and would like to nominate him as speaker again, he would gladly stay in the post, he said.
However, the DPP must first regroup from last year’s setback and win a legislative majority in next year’s legislative election, he said.
“The DPP has seen its worst days,” Su said, adding that the party’s victory in the legislative by-election in Taipei on Sunday gave it a morale boost.
“Now it all comes down to how much the party can rise back up,” he said.
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