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Su Jia-chyuan picked as DPP vice-presidential candidate

2011/09/09 14:55:28

Taipei, Sept. 9 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate and Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen picked the party's secretary-general Su Jia-chyuan as her running mate Friday.

In his acceptance speech, Su, 55, vowed to help the party win more votes.

Born in the southern county of Pingtung, Su entered politics in 1986, running for a seat on the Pingtung City Council. He lost that election, but helped found the DPP that same year, at a time when Taiwan was under one-party authoritarian rule.

He remained active in politics and was chosen as a member of the National Assembly as well as elected as legislator twice in Pingtung County, in the period 1993-1997. He won the Pingtung County magistrate election twice between 1997 and 2004.

During his tenure as the Pingtung magistrate, Su helped develop the county's tourism and lift its profile through initiatives such as the Donggang Yellowfin Tuna Festival and the Hengchun Windbells Festival. When the DPP took office 2000- 2008, Su was appointed as interior minister from 2004-2006 and minister of the Council of Agriculture from 2006-2008.

Before his appointment as DPP secretary-general, Su ran against Taichung Mayor Jason Hu in 2010. Although Su lost the election, pundits said he "should feel proud even in defeat," as he came within 32,000 votes of Hu in a city considered to be pro-Kuomintang (KMT).

Tsai's selection of Su as her running mate signals that the DPP sees central Taiwan as one of the crucial battlegrounds in the Jan. 14 presidential election. The DPP ticket will face off against KMT President Ma Ying-jeou and his running mate, Premier Wu Dun-yih, in bid for a third transfer of power in Taiwan's democratic history.

(By James Lee)