VP says she’s ‘most invincible’ rival to ex-KMT chairman


TAIPEI, CNA

Vice President Annette Lu said yesterday that she is the best rival to Ma Ying-jeou, the former opposition Kuomintang (KMT) chairman who is widely viewed as the KMT’s best bet in the 2008 presidential race.

In an exclusive interview with the Hong Kong-based Apple Daily, Lu, who is among four contenders vying for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nomination to run in the 2008 presidential election, said Ma could turn out to be the only challenger to the DPP and that she believes she is the DPP’s best choice to challenge Ma in terms of appearance, eloquence, knowledge and language ability.

Lu said that having failed in none of six major elections in the past — including legislative and magistrate elections — she believes she will not lose the 2008 race if nominated, as she will be more diligent and well-prepared than anybody else.

Lu told the Apple Daily that although all three of the other DPP aspirants — Premier Su Tseng-chang, former Premier Frank Hsieh and DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun — have their edges, she has advantages that they lack.

She said that like Ma, she is a Harvard alumni and that she envies Ma for his “handsomeness.” Ma was an English secretary to the late President Chiang Ching-kuo soon after his graduation from Harvard law school, she said, adding that Ma has always been known as a “perfect man” for he has climbed the ladder of success smoothly until recently.

Recently, she said, people have questioned his integrity after he was indicted on corruption charges in early February, and have also scrutinized his crisis-handling abilities.

Lu said Ma’s wavering stance on Taiwan’s status and its future is his Achilles’ heel, adding that Ma has never spoken clearly about where exactly he intends to lead Taiwan if he is elected.

According to Lu, the ruling DPP still has a great chance of winning the 2008 race, given that the KMT has huge and fundamental issues to tackle even before finalizing a presidential candidate.