Cabinet Secretary-General Cho to run for DPP chairmanship

Cabinet Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai reacts during a press event in Taipei. He confirmed Friday that he will resign from his current position to run for chairmanship of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Cabinet Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) confirmed Friday that he will resign from his current position to run for the chairmanship of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Cho registered as a candidate at the DPP headquarters in Taipei, noting that he expects to stand down as secretary-general of the Executive Yuan before the election which is set to take place Jan. 6.

The date of his resignation will be determined after talking to Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德), he explained.

Cho, who has served in several government posts and was a lawmaker from 1999-2004, is seen as a “big brother to the younger generation,” according to Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), who accompanied him to party headquarters as a show of support.

The post of party chairperson was vacated by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Nov. 24, after the DPP suffered heavy losses in the local government elections and since then there have been calls within the DPP for a younger party leader.

On Nov. 24, the DPP won only six of the 22 counties and cities in the country, while the Kuomintang took 15.

Cho was nominated by Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅), Chiayi County Magistrate-elect Weng Chang-liang (翁章梁), former lawmaker Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), outgoing Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an (潘孟安), and Tainan mayor-elect Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲).

Cho said he decided to run to demonstrate his willingness to take on a new challenge.

“We are all rooting for Cho,” Cheng said, adding that young party members are willing to take on the responsibility of winning back the trust of their supporters.

Cho is the ideal man for the job, and we will all stand by him and give him the support he needs, Cheng said.

Meanwhile, Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), a leader of the New Tide faction, expressed dissatisfaction over Cheng’s support for Cho, saying that he has decided to leave the DPP.

New Tide is one of the oldest and most powerful factions in the party, its members include Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), head of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association (TJRA), Taoyuan Mayor Cheng and DPP lawmaker Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康).

Wu, who does not see eye to eye with the Cabinet secretary-general, criticized Cheng for disregarding their three-decade-long friendship by supporting Cho.

Asked about Wu quitting the DPP, the Taoyuan mayor said he is unaware of the matter, but called on Wu to remain in the party and help earn back the trust of the people.

By Elain Hou, Yeh Su-ping, Lu Hsin-huei and Ko Lin