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More members join race for DPP chair

More members join race for DPP chair
Presidential Secretary General Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) announced his resignation as presidential aide yesterday as his first step to run for Democratic Progressive Party chairman.

"My resignation had been submitted to the president's office. President Chen should see it as late as tomorrow," said Yu last night.

Yu said he made the decision to run for DPP chairman in the hopes of boosting the party members' morale. According to Yu the party seen its toughest time recently since it was establish 19 years ago. He also quit as a DPP Central Standing Committee member so he could join the race for chairman as a regular party member.

"The DPP has been the most democratic party in Taiwan so far," Yu said, responding to a reporter's questions concerning Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and other party members competing for the chairmanship. "We welcome everyone to express individual's vision through participating the election, to debate how the party should go for next," he said.

Yu made the remark after his aide said early yesterday that Yu was determined to resign so he could run for the chairmanship. The aide, who asked not to be named, said that Yu made the decision after he was persuaded by DPP heavyweights that his personal qualities, including tolerance, would give the party a boost after the terrible results of the December 3 elections.

Yu wants to rebuild the party's image as a party of "political integrity and hard work" that symbolizes Taiwan people's love of their native land, the aide said.

As the longest serving premier in the DPP government, Yu thinks that he is fit to serve as party, a post which calls for unselfish dedication to uniting the party to push ahead reform programs, the aide said.

The party is scheduled to hold a vote on January 15 to elect the chairman.

Vice President Annette Lu currently holds the position.

In addition to Yu, DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳), announced his bid for the chair. He said he was in a position to lead the party because he knows well the thoughts and needs of "small tradesman and porters" -- who are viewed as the backbone of the DPP.

Legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮), a DPP Central Standing Committee member, expressed his interest in running as well. Chai vowed that he would be the first candidate to register the race today.

Legislator Lin Chung-mo (林重謨) said he would not "exclude the possibility of joining the race," if the vice president throws her hat into the ring.

Lin's remark came after Lu was persuaded to remain as DPP acting chair Wednesday. Other party members are watching to see if Lu will run for on January 15 for the position.

Although some DPP members don't think Lu or other officials from the Presidential Office should run for the chair, DPP Secretary General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said party's rules do not prohibit an acting chair from doing so.

As for Lu, she has said she has no intention of running. However, many people are not ruling her out as a possible candidate since she has changed her position on several issues before.