Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday called for restraint from supporters of DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) after a former DPP administration official called on Su to drop his bid for the party’s nomination as its candidate for the 2016 presidential election.
Former Council for Economic Planning and Development vice chairman Chang Ching-sen (張景森) wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday that Su should drop his presidential bid and instead run in the Taipei mayoral election next year to boost the DPP’s morale.
It would be the best option for Su, because “it is almost certain that Tsai is going to win the party nomination, judging from her popularity among party members and the people,” Chang wrote.
Su and Tsai have been mentioned as the favorites to win the DPP’s nomination for the next presidential election.
“I don’t believe Tsai and Su would authorize such comments. The problem lies in the people around them. I hope they stop doing this because comments like these are likely to divide supporters,” DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said.
Hung Chih-kune (洪智坤), a member of the DPP’s Central Executive Committee, said Chang’s good intentions may cause trouble for Tsai and his Facebook post “looked like childish and stupid trash-talking between fans of different celebrities.”
Tsai’s office declined to comment, saying that Chang’s message only represented his personal view.
While the party is at least a year away from nominating its presidential candidate, talk of fierce competition between Su and Tsai has not stopped since Tsai lost the presidential election last year, despite both camps invariably playing down the issue.
A public opinion poll released last week on the prospects for DPP candidates in the Taipei mayoral election showed Tsai leading all her rivals.
However, Su was not listed in the poll conducted by Focus Survey Research, which was founded by a Su confidant. Rumors began circulating among DPP supporters that Su is trying to force Tsai to run in the Taipei mayoral election, meaning she would have to drop her presidential bid.
“Bitter rivalry in the party will only benefit the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). It is now time to think about what the DPP should do, rather than who is going to win the nomination,” DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) said.