Mark Chen asks to be DPP Tainan County candidate

CHOICES: The DPP ‘would not be so stupid as not to appoint me,’ the former Presidential Office chief said as he launched his grassroots bid yesterday

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Mar 18, 2009 - Page 3

Former minister of foreign affairs and Presidential Office ­secretary-­general Mark Chen (陳唐山) yesterday asked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to choose him as its candidate for the Tainan County commissioner election in December.

Chen yesterday held a press conference in Tainan County, where he called on DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to “take the opinions of Tainan County residents seriously.”

“I will visit local people as a candidate in the commissioner’s election starting today,” Chen said.

Asked whether he would withdraw from the party and enter the election as an independent candidate if the DPP decided not to select him, Chen said: “The party would not be so stupid as not to appoint me.”

He said he planned to visit DPP legislators Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) and Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅), who have both expressed a desire to run for the position, as well as Tainan County Commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智).

Southern Taiwan Society president Cheng Cheng-iok (鄭正煜) and several other members of the society attended the press conference in a show of support for Chen.

A number of local elected officials and DPP supporters were also present.

Tsai said recently the party was still negotiating with three hopefuls over the Tainan County election, while Chen had previously said he would enter the election race whether the party nominated him or not.

Lee said yesterday that Tsai should choose a candidate as soon as possible, lest the different candidates split the party’s vote, causing the DPP to lose one of its strongholds.

“Chen should have been more patient and should have not made his move so soon,” Lee said.