Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday gave the strongest hint yet about a possible re-election bid, paving the way for a potential three-way race in the party’s chairmanship election in May.
Su, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) are all expected to enter the race, but so far only Hsieh has publicly announced his bid.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Yunlin Agriculture Expo in Yunlin County yesterday, Su said he would not be responsible for the seven-in-one elections in November as party chairman, but “I should be given an opportunity to fight for victory.”
Asked by reporters about the meaning of “opportunity” and if it meant that he would be seeking a second term in the chairmanship election, Su said: “Was I not being clear enough?”
Tsai, who is widely seen as the favorite to win the election, has reiterated that she is still weighing her decision.
“It’s only natural for an incumbent chairman to seek re-election,” Hsieh said yesterday, adding that the potentially intense election could provide a platform for the public and party members to examine candidates’ vision for the party and the country.
The DPP officially nominated a pair of candidates for the mayoral and commissioner elections — deputy secretary-general Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) in Keelung City and former legislator Chen Kuang-fu (陳光復) in Penghu County — at the Central Executive Committee meeting in Yunlin County yesterday.
Lin ran in Keelung in the mayoral election in 2009 and the legislative election in 2012, both times losing to the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate, while Chen also ran and lost in the Penghu commissioner election in 2005.
The DPP has completed nominations in 12 of 22 constituencies in the mayoral and commissioner elections.
Meanwhile, Su has invited all five aspirants in the party’s primary for the Taipei mayoral election to a meeting in the city tomorrow to resolve escalating disputes about the party’s possible “integration” with independent candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who has been leading all the pan-green camp hopefuls in support ratings and appears to have a good chance of winning the capital.
Wellington Koo (顧立雄), one of the five DPP aspirants, initiated a three-step proposal on Tuesday, calling for the DPP to complete its primary, which would be conducted in the form of a public opinion poll, by the end of next month, and organize three debates between the DPP primary winner and specific independent candidates before the final stage of another public opinion poll to determine the pan-green camp’s candidate.
However, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), also one of the DPP contenders, opposed the initiative, saying that the party should abide by its regulations and nominate its own candidate, as “the rules of the game” should not be swayed by one person.