Integration with Su and Hsieh no problem: Tsai
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-06 05:14 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – There would be no problem integrating the forces of incumbent opposition leader Su Tseng-chang and ex-Premier Frank Hsieh if they held common aims, former Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday.

Tsai is the strong frontrunner to win back her old post in an election scheduled for May 25 after both Su and Hsieh dropped out of the race. All three could still compete with each other though in the contest to become the DPP candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

Talking to reporters in the margin of a news conference presenting the English-language website of her Thinking Taiwan Foundation, Tsai said that integration of all forces was necessary, but would not be a problem. If people only talked about personal relationships and interests, it would be difficult, but not so if people shared common goals and a common responsibility for society and country, she said.

No matter how competition inside the DPP developed and what kind of role the party played in the future, everyone bore a certain level of responsibility, Tsai said.

Who was the most suitable person to serve as party leader at this moment and who should represent the DPP in the 2016 presidential election were different matters to be solved at different times, Tsai reportedly said.

The most important task for the new party chairperson would be to do his job well so the DPP could become a choice acceptable to Taiwan society, she said.

Several DPP personalities including Hsieh and former Vice President Annette Lu said that whoever won this month’s chairmanship election should not be the party’s next presidential candidate.

Whether individual political leaders were a certain choice was one thing, but whether a political party was an acceptable choice was an issue that even more people cared about, according to Tsai.

After leading the DPP from 2008 to 2012 but losing the presidential election to President Ma Ying-jeou, ex-Premier Su was elected to a two-year term as opposition leader. He and Hsieh decided to give up their leadership bids after the conclusion of the Legislative Yuan occupation by students early last month.

Su had been accused of losing touch with the social movements over the past year and allowing the party to face the threat of marginalization, while Tsai promised she would open the DPP’s doors to more outsiders and cooperate with the activists. She also emphasized however that in the end, the action groups would still need the DPP to push through convincing reforms.

Tsai said her foundation’s new English-language website could contribute to better understanding of Taiwan overseas, including in China. On the review of the trade-in-services pact with that country, she pleaded for more transparency and for more interaction between the executive and the legislative branches of government even during the negotiating process. If a framework law to monitor cross-straits talks were approved, the eventual passage of a trade accord would become much easier, she said.

The framework law was a key demand of the students occupying the Legislative Yuan from March 18 until April 10, but several versions are up for discussion by lawmakers, including a government proposal deemed unacceptable by critics.

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