Former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Lin Yi-hsiung (林義雄) yesterday advised President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to name an upright non-party premier who sympathized with "democratic and progressive" values and urged former presidential secretary-general Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) to withdraw from the upcoming election for the DPP chairmanship.
In an open letter addressed to Chen, Lin expressed concern over the current political situation and offered his advice.
Lin also addressed another open letter to Yu, urging him not to persist in his candidacy.
In an open letter to DPP members issued last Friday, Lin said that any persons who had held posts as president, vice president, premier or party chairperson or who planned to run in next December's Taipei City or Kaohsiung City mayoral elections or the March 2008 presidential election should not contest the DPP chairman election January 15.
Lin stated that all existing DPP political "heavyweights" had already served as premier and asserted that the selection of another DPP member "would appear to fall short of a new image and would not offer any benefit for our party's future development."
Lin suggested Chen has two alternatives concerning the DPP chairman's post.
He could decide to not to replace Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) or chose someone not in a political party "who is respected in society," he said. He added that "it would be better if such a person had understanding of the democratic and progressive goals that our party's spirit and its program strive to attain."
"Regarding who would be appropriate, with the president's intelligence and broad range of acquaintances, he can make the most suitable choice," Lin said.
He "sincerely asked" Chen to "dissuade or order" Yu to withdraw from the race.
"Otherwise, our party's morale will collapse and the unsavory impression in society that our party comrades 'struggle for every available post' will be deepened," he warned.
In his open letter to Yu, Lin stated that "it appears that not even one of the advocations of the party's platform or ideals have been realized" in the five years of DPP administration.
Lin said Yu, who has served as vice premier, premier and twice as presidential chief-of-staff, "should bear a share of responsibility," but complained that "we have yet to hear of any re-examination, reflection or apology on your part."
Lin said that before such an re-examination, for Yu to run for the DPP chairperson post might help his political future and the president political positioning, it would "only cause harm to the future of the DPP and Taiwan."
He said the most critical tasks for the DPP now include "cultivating a new leadership stratum" that "possesses boldness in policy, international vision, modern knowledge and integrity" and that can impart a "new image" to the DPP.
Lin criticized Yu for lacking such a vision for the party's future development and said he would "obstruct the emergence of a new leadership stratum."
Lin also urged Yu and other DPP leaders to focus attention on responding to needs of citizens who have backed the Taiwan democratic movement and the DPP.
A spokesperson for the former presidential secretary-general told The Taiwan News that Yu had no comment at this time.
Yu resigned as presidential secretary-general and DPP central standing committee member before registering as a candidate yesterday morning at the DPP headquarters in Taipei.
He officially announced his candidacy Sunday morning at the Grand Hotel.
As of yesterday evening, only Yu and DPP Legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮) had registered as candidates.
The deadline for registration is today.