Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday brushed off speculation over possible vice-presidential contenders for next year’s presidential campaign.
“It’s too early to talk about such things now,” she said in response to reporters’ requests for comment on Tainan Mayor William Lai’s (賴清德) announcement that he would not take part in next year’s presidential election — as a presidential or vice-presidential candidate.
Tsai is seen as the party’s presidential hopeful, though she has yet to formally announce her intention to run.
In the past few weeks, some senior DPP figures, notably former presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏), have shown their support for Lai and encouraged him to run.
However, Lai on Friday said that he would not seek the party’s presidential nomination, adding on Saturday that he would not be a vice presidential candidate either, after Tsai suggested that he should play a role in the election, even if he is not the presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, Tsai yesterday vowed to win at least half of the legislative seats in next year’s legislative elections.
“As the by-elections ... are over, the DPP will now start presenting our own reform proposals for the challenges that the nation faces, and begin to prepare for the next legislative elections,” Tsai said on the sidelines of an event organized by the Thinking Taiwan Foundation in Yilan County. “Our goal is to have the force of our reforms [lead to winning] more than half of the legislative seats.”
Tsai said that the DPP would come up with solutions for every problem the nation faces, so that voters are more confident about putting the DPP in power.
“The DPP will encourage all our capable comrades to take on the task for the party,” she said. “As for those electoral districts that are more challenging for the party, we will also seek to collaborate with other political forces.”
Tsai said that although the DPP did not gain more seats in Saturday’s legislative by-elections, “the number of votes our candidates received in each electoral district has obviously grown,” adding that the party would work harder to gain the trust of voters in Miaoli and Nantou counties.
In the five districts where by-elections were held — Taichung and Miaoli, Nantou, Changhua and Pingtung counties — the DPP retained its seats in Taichung, Changhua and Pingtung, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) kept its seats in Miaoli and Nantou counties.
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