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Hsieh wins DPP primary, vows to mend divisions

Though plagued by corruption scandals, former premier Frank Hsieh Sunday won the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's presidential primary by a landside and vowed to try his best to mend party divisions created on the campaign trail.
"As President Chen Shui-bian said earlier today, preserving party unity is DPP members' obligation and responsibility," Hsieh told a news conference at his campaign office at 7:40pm. "There is no one I cannot forgive or work with.”
Hsieh carried the race with 62,849 ballots, or 44.6 percent of the vote, followed by Premier Su Tseng-chang, who garnered 46,994 ballots. DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and Vice President Annette Lu gathered 22,200 votes and 8,552 votes, respectively.
Some 56 percent of 250,000 DPP members took part in the primary that will carry 30 percent of the weight in deciding the party's presidenital nominee. A series of opinion polls next week will account for another 70 percent.
Hsieh specifically thanked former vice premier Yeh Chu-lan, former Council of Labor Affairs chairman Lee Ying-yuan and Yunlin County Magistrate Su Chih-fen for their backing and assured supporters the corruption scandals would prove unfounded later.
The Next magazine accused Hsieh in its edition last Wednesday of accepting illegal political donations and quoted investigators as complaining pressure from higher-ups to drop the probe.
The Hsieh camp has blamed Cabinet agencies for leaking what it called false information to the magazine to manipulate the primary.
Both Su and Yu said they would pull out of the race, as assorted surveys gave Hsieh small leads in popularity ratings and the primary result is expected to consolidate the trend.
Hsieh declined to comment on whom he intends to pick as running mate except to say he will put the party's interest above his personal concern.
The party headquarters said it will go ahead and conduct the opinion polls as planned.
Under internal DPP rules, it is up to the presidential nominee to decide the vice presidential candidate. Hsieh had said he favored Yeh as running mate if he had the final say. For the sake of party unity, however, Hsieh said he will consult Chen and other DPP heavyweights on the matter.

Updated : 2021-09-21 10:50 GMT+08:00