Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday dismissed a newspaper report that said he may end his bid for a second term because his deficit against former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has grown too large to overcome.
The Chinese-language China Times yesterday quoted an anonymous source as saying that Su trailed Tsai by at least 10 percentage points in a possible three-way race for the DPP chairmanship election in May, with former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) the third aspirant.
If Hsieh dropped out of the race, Su would be more than 20 percentage points behind Tsai, which could mean the end of his political career.
He could be considering dropping out of the race, the source was quoted as saying.
“There is no such thing [as dropping out],” Su said in response to a media inquiry yesterday before the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting.
Pressed further about whether he would keep his name on the list for the chairmanship election, the chairman said: “There is no question about it.”
Su has not formally announced his re-election bid, but gave a strong hint on Feb. 12 about his interest in seeking a second term.
Responding to another question about whether he would be seeking another two-year term to show that he is responsible for the outcome of the year-end seven-in-one elections, Su said: “I think I’m making myself very clear.”
Hsieh, the only aspirant who has made a public announcement about his election bid, reiterated that “division of labor” is much needed for the DPP to regain the public’s trust.
The former premier, a longtime rival of Su, has been advocating a “coalition” with Tsai and saying that if Tsai is eyeing a second run at the presidency, she should focus on her presidential campaign and leave the “dirty work” of managing the party to him.
“For now, I think I am the only candidate who is actually running a campaign because I am the only one with a complete platform... Tsai has not submitted her platform for the [DPP chairmanship] election, which is why I do not think she really has a campaign,” Hsieh told reporters.
Hsieh said he has not heard about the reported rumor that Su would drop out if he withdrew from the election.