Taiwan: Ex-Premier Wins First Round of Primary
Ex-Premier Frank Hsieh has taken one step closer to becoming the Democratic Progressive Party's Presidential nominee, focusing on better relations with
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The witty, sharp-tongued Frank Hsieh still needs to win a second round of voting to clinch his bid to be the Democratic Progressive Party's [DPP] candidate in next year's election. But Sunday's victory nearly guarantees him a place on the ticket.
His biggest rival, Premier Su Tseng-chang, dropped out the race after winning only 33% of the party's votes. Hsieh handily won with 44%, the party said, and two other candidates were far behind.
Hsieh, a feisty lawyer who defended political dissidents during the brutal martial law era that ended in 1987, briefly served as premier two years ago. When
Many believe Hsieh might be more flexible and pragmatic with
When Hsieh was the
But Hsieh said he had to cancel the trip because he couldn't get the Taiwanese government's permission.
During his brief stint as premier, Hsieh pledged to seek "peace through talks and negotiation." He said he wanted to end bans on direct flights and shipping routes to the mainland.
Just days before Sunday's vote, the campaign was filled with venom, as Su accused Hsieh of corruption. Hsieh alleged that Su was waging a smear campaign. But after the vote, Hsieh said he would mend divisions.
"We've had verbal confrontations ... but those were inevitable during the process to cultivate a vision for the future," Hsieh said. "The end of the vote will be the beginning to forge party unity."
There were two other candidates in the race: DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, who won 16% of the vote, and Vice President Annette Lu, who only got 7%.
Sunday's vote was only open to the 250,000 members of the DPP; a poll open to the general public will follow later this week.
The opposition Nationalist Party has named former Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou its presidential candidate. The Harvard-educated Ma is a favorite despite allegations of corrupt dealings during his mayorship.