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Jan 15, 2008

Chairman Hsieh wants a fresh start

Yesterday the DPP Central Standing Committee voted unanimously to make DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) the acting chairman of the party. Hsieh quickly made a few comments to outline his ideas and policy guidelines, including:

  1. A set of three pledges: not to buy votes, not to encourage violence, and not to stoke ethnic tensions.
  2. Uniting the party leadership apparatus with his campaign apparatus. This involved bringing in party heavyweights, including Secretary Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), Deputy Premier Chiu Yi-ren (邱義仁), DPP Party Secretary Chuo Rong-tai (卓榮泰), caucus whip Ker Chien-min (柯建銘) and former New Tide faction heavyweight Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) among others.
  3. A pledge to resign from politics should he lose the presidential election.
  4. Bringing in two of the former "11 bandits," Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉), who criticized Chen during the height of the Depose A-bian movement. This is significant because it shows the DPP is trying to heal it's internal wounds and is willing to allow, if not encourage, a break with A-bian.

There was also some discussion within the DPP, prompted mostly by Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), about the way several DPP cabinet members and deputies, particularly in the Education and Information ministries, have antagonized the public and should perhaps resign.

A-bian also mentioned he will retreat from the front lines for the presidential election. I'd call that a very good idea.

While UDN is reporting that the total defeat of the Taiwan Solidarity Union in the election has Ma and Hsieh battling for former President Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) support, I think it's fair to expect he will come down on the green side in the end. I believe he already told Hsieh he'll endorse him.

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