The office of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday denied a media report about Tsai’s alleged interest in seeking the chairmanship again in May next year, saying that it is “not an option for now.”
“In the most difficult time for Taiwan in recent memory, Tsai is working on standing on the same side with people and consolidating social forces, which is what the DPP itself should be doing.
Tsai is not planning on entering the chairmanship election at this moment,” office spokesperson Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福) said in a press release.
Hung was responding to a report published by the Chinese-language Apple Daily newspaper yesterday, which quoted anonymous sources as saying that Tsai “is almost certain to enter the race.”
The report quoted unnamed staffers at Tsai’s office as saying that the former presidential candidate has been weighing her decision on the election because many DPP members had nobody to support in the party primary for the presidential election in 2016 or for the chairmanship election.
However, the report said Tsai’s aides are now increasingly leaning toward entering the chairmanship race as Tsai and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) have had differences on a number of issues.
Both Tsai and Su have been known for their ambition to win the DPP’s nomination for the next presidential election.
If both decided to challenge for the chairmanship, the report said, it would mean that the “inevitable battle between the two would be brought forward” if Su, who assumed the party helm in May last year, decided to run for his second two-year term.
In this event the DPP would not hold its presidential primary before 2015.
Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has also been mentioned as a possible candidate in the DPP chairman race.