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Yeh throws weight behind Hsieh's presidential bid

A ruling Democratic Progressive Party heavyweight on Monday threw her weight behind the presidential campaign of former premier Frank Hsieh, saying he promised the best candidate to run the country and lift its statue on the world stage.
Former vice premier Yeh Chu-lan, who accompanied Hsieh and DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun to register their candidacy in March, dropper her former ambiguity and said she favored Hsieh as the party's presidential candidate because of his administrative credentials.
Yeh told a crowd in Yunlin that during her stint as acting Kaohsiung mayor, she had the opportunity to witness firsthand Hsieh's competence in turning the southern city into the pride of Taiwan.
"A politician of vision, Hsieh introduced liberal doses of humanity and culture to Kaohsiung, making it the most lustrous city of the nation," said Yeh, who filled Hsieh's remaining tenure as Kaohsiung mayor between February 2005 and December 2006 when Hsieh worked as premier.
Yeh's endorsement is expected to further boost Hsieh's campaign that has gained increasing momentum as the party's presidential primary draws nearer. Recent polls showed Hsieh outperformed Premier Su Tseng-chang in popularity ratings whether opposition supporters were excluded from the surveys or not.
Yeh, however, declined to remark on her potential vice presidential candidacy, saying she will do her utmost to help the DPP win the 2008 election, regardless of her personal career plan.
Hsieh has said he favored Yeh as running mate if the matter is up to him to decide. President Chen Shui-bian, who is counted on by the four candidates and other party stalwarts to coordinate the ticket, has suggested the two frontrunners team up in running for president and vice president on behalf of the DPP.