Saturday, February 5, 2011

DPP's "Dream Team" for 2012?

l  The DPP held a plenary party congress in late January, with the focus on its presidential nomination mechanism for 2012. Party delegates passed a resolution, by a lopsided vote of 227-84, to amend its nomination mechanism for the president to be “100% based on islandwide opinion polls.”

l  The same nomination procedure will also apply to the selection of the party's candidates in legislative, mayoral, and city councilor elections in the future. But the nominations of DPP legislators designated for at-large representation—which is elected based on the percentage of votes that a party gets—will be determined by a nomination committee formed by the party.

l  The new nomination rules replace the previous system of combining the results of a party primary by the rank-and-file members and an islandwide opinion poll. According to most, this amended format clearly favors Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen and those factions closely identified with Tsai in the party.

l  Since Tsai has steered the DPP to successive election victories in the past two years, she enjoys both national recognition and factional support that are deemed critical to the DPP’s chances in 2012. Former Premier Su Tseng-chang, on the other hand, has never given up hopes on launching a presidential bid for 2012, which, given his age, will likely be his last shot at the top political office on the island.

l  Among those in the DPP that have expressed interests to compete for the presidential nomination in 2012, Tsai and Su continue to lead the rest by sizable margins. As such, many party heavyweights and factional leaders are now calling for a joint ticket of Tsai-Su, or Su-Tsai, to represent the DPP in 2012.

l  While neither Tsai nor Su gave a direct response to such a proposal, they both have urged the party members, particularly the leaders of major factions, to strengthen solidarity and unite behind the strongest possible ticket to unseat President Ma Ying-jeou in 2012. Although it’s often said that “politics makes strange bedfellows,” DPP’s “dream ticket” of Tsai and Su together, however, remains a long shot.

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