Former president says he is to vote for Hsieh

Former president Lee Teng-hui, who had remained mum on his voting intention in the March 22 presidential poll, told a news conference Thursday he will cast his ballot for Democratic Progressive Party flag-bearer Frank Hsieh.
"After months of observation of the two presidential candidates, I decided to cast my vote for Frank Hsieh”Lee said, adding that he will respect the choice of the people, whoever wins the election Saturday.
Lee said he considered it ill advised to hand the opposition Kuomintang the presidency after the party won an absolute majority of seats in the Legislature in January.
Lee, who ruled Taiwan between 1988 and 2000, had been a KMT chairman but broke ranks with the party in 2001 over their differences on China policy. The former president, now a spiritual leader of the Taiwan Solidarity Union, has devoted to promoting Taiwan identity after his retirement.
In recent years, he has grown increasingly critical of President Chen Shui-bian but has remained friendly toward Hsieh. He once said Hsieh is more competent though KMT standard-bearer Ma Ying-jeou is cleaner.
The TSU, normally an ally of the DPP, failed to win a single legislative seat and is suffering divisions, with some members preferring Hsieh and others favoring Ma.