Taiwan Solidarity Union denies fielding chairman in 2008 race


The leadership of the opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) denied a newspaper report yesterday that the TSU is planning to field its party chairman as a candidate in the 2008 presidential election.

The China Times daily reported that grassroots TSU members have been talking about fielding TSU Chairman Huang Kun-hui as a presidential candidate in the wake of the failure of the TSU and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to arrive at a joint nomination plan for the upcoming legislative election.

The daily said that TSU members and supporters were particularly irritated by the DPP after the ruling party decided to nominate singer/actor Yu Tien, a non-partisan, as a DPP legislative candidate to represent Taipei County’s Sanchung city, instead of inviting a TSU member to stand as a candidate.

Responding to the daily’s allegations, TSU spokeswoman Chou Mei-li said TSU supporters have indeed voiced their concerns about the party’s disadvantage in the January 2008 legislative election, and hope that Huang will be able to drum up the TSU’s morale by announcing his intention to stand as a presidential candidate representing the TSU.

Besides, Chou added, some TSU members have said that the TSU should provide the voters with a third, and better, choice by fielding Huang as a presidential candidate if they don’t favor either of the DPP presidential candidate, Frank Hsieh, or the opposition Kuomintang candidate, Ma Ying-jeou.

Chou stressed, however, that these were only the voices of the grassroots, and the TSU leadership has no plans at this point to field the party chairman in the 2008 race.

TSU Legislator Lo Chih-ming also noted that he has not heard such rumors within the party, adding that the TSU will craft its own legislative election strategy only after the DPP convenes its national congress to decide on a list of legislative candidates.

Lo added that as far as he knows, Huang has maintained cordial relations with the DPP, and Huang has never said anything about participating in the 2008 presidential race.