Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she will take a neutral position in the upcoming party primaries for the seven-in-one elections next year amid controversy after one candidate claimed to be endorsed by her.
Tsai said in a press release yesterday that she gave her blessings to all aspirants in the primaries and would try to assist them all, but would stay neutral during the primary process.
The DPP began a public opinion poll last night for its primary for the Yunlin County commissioner election and is scheduled to conduct a similar poll in Pingtung County tomorrow for the party’s primary for the Pingtung County commissioner election.
A dispute arose when DPP Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), who will compete with DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) for the party’s nomination in Pingtung County, inserted an endorsement from Tsai in automated telephone calls to local residents to garner support.
Pan told reporters that Tsai’s office denied recording a message endorsing Su and that the message came from campaign rallies in the legislative elections last year, when Tsai was running in the presidential election.
Competition in Yunlin County has been as fierce as in Pingtung County, with the trio of former Keelung mayor Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) and DPP legislators Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) and Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), eyeing party nomination.
According to the DPP’s primary regulations, the DPP headquarters will conduct negotiations in those constituencies with two or more aspirants if private negotiations between them fail.
Public opinion polls are to be held to determine the final candidate in those constituencies, if all attempts at negotiation fail.