Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠), a former Changhua county magistrate who is running for the chair of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said yesterday that she was reflecting grassroots party members' opinions when she criticized the Cabinet's performance in a debate a day earlier with her two rivals.
Wong made the remarks while visiting the DPP chapter in the eastern county of Taitung to solicit support for her party chairmanship bid.
In a televised weekend debate with two other DPP chair hopefuls - Legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮) and former Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), Wong said the DPP's present crisis originated in the central government administration and that the DPP needs to have entirely different leaders to address its challenges and difficulties.
During her visit to the DPP's Taitung chapter, Wong claimed that her remarks in the debate had nothing to do with her attitude toward President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
"It was not about my positive or negative attitude toward Chen. The remarks mainly reflected grassroots DPP members' opinions about our party's present problems and future development prospects. We must squarely face up to our current plight and difficulties and then we can find response strategies. I hope my suggestions can serve as reference for our administration in the next two years to regain the public's trust and rekindle the enthusiasm of party members," Wong said.
Wong, formerly a member of the DPP's New Tide faction, said she supports the New Tide's decision to adopt a neutral stance toward the January 15 by-election for the party's chair.
"I had quit the New Tide before announcing my bid for the party chairmanship. I agreed with the view that the party's chair should not get involved in any interfactional affairs or strife. I hope our party's other major faction, the Welfare State Alliance, can follow the lead of the New Tide and allow its members to make their own decisions in the upcoming chairmanship by-election," Wong said.