It would be great for men and women alike if a woman were to be the next president of Taiwan, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday.
Announcing the "time of women" has come, Lu said that what women want is not sloganeering but participation, capability and leadership.
"My judgment is that women can decide the fate of Taiwan in 2008," Lu said. "If the country's next president is a woman, it would show that our men are more open-minded and confident about themselves. They could accept the fact that women can lead the country. It is not much to ask to let a woman be president because the past 11 presidents were men."
Lu made the remarks at the Presidential Office yesterday afternoon while addressing members of a leadership program for outstanding female entrepreneurs living overseas.
Lu, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential hopeful who has a reputation for being something of a loner, said that she would invite several renowned women to endorse her bid at the Ambassador Hotel in Taipei tomorrow.
Lu said she has met many supporters on her campaign trail and strongly felt that they wanted to see a woman become the president.
"Female supporters, in particular, feel that their grievances, suffering and humiliations would be offset if a woman is elected as president," she said. "Young people feel that a female president will bring them unlimited possibilities and help them achieve a great deal."
Lu said next year's presidential election would be different from the last two polls and that people want something different.
In the 2000 election, Lu said the party wanted someone who was strong enough to beat the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was the strongest candidate.
In the 2004 election, Lu said the public thought Chen needed four more years to govern and so they gave him the mandate.
For next year's election, she said she did not think the public had much confidence in the KMT and whether the DPP candidate would win the support of the people did not lie in the party itself but in the candidate.
"More and more people don't care that much about what party the candidate belongs to but what kind of person the candidate is and what they can offer," she said.