Su seeks Hsieh support for DPP head: source

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–Former Premier Su Tseng-chang has been seeking the support of party heavyweights, especially former Premier Frank Hsieh, in his as yet unannounced bid to become the new chairman of the opposition the Democratic Progressive Party, a party source said on condition of anonymity.

Su is expected to meet with Frank Hsieh within the next one or two days, said the source yesterday, a day before the Wednesday, March 14, meeting of the DPP Central Standing Committee to hammer out a detailed timetable for the election of a new party chairman to replace Chen Chu (陳菊), the interim chairwoman whose term runs to May 27. Frank Hsieh, a party heavyweight who threw his weight behind Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP presidential candidate in the party primary and the 2012 presidential election, may not always be on the best of terms with Su.

If Su is really taking the initiative and making covert arrangements as the party source alleged, his bid for the DPP chairman ship is serious although he has so far not openly admitted it. However, other party sources are concerned that the news leak might get in the way of a possible Su-Hsieh meeting.

Premature revelation of such a meeting might put extra strains on the two sides, other DPP sources said yesterday.

Neither man has firmed up the time and place of the meeting through their aides, Hsieh’s spokesman Lin Yao-wen (林耀文) said yesterday. Echoing Lin’s comments, a spokesman for Su, however, also said yesterday he knew nothing about such arrangements.

According to the DPP source, Hsieh’s camp received a telephone call from a non-party go-between last Thursday or Friday, when Hsieh was in Japan, to the effect that Su wants a meeting. The go-between was told to wait till the return of Hsieh. Neither Su’s nor Hsieh’s aides have revealed whether or not Hsieh has received further calls from Su or his emissary since his return from Japan on Monday, March 12.

According to the anonymous party source, Su also is making arrangements to meet with other party heavyweights, such as former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), former premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫?), and interim chairwoman Chen Chu.

Su, a favorite in the race for DPP chairmanship, is reluctant to openly announce his candidacy because he is painfully aware that many people in his party are clamoring for the replacement of the older generation of party leaders by a new, younger generation.