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May 28, 2017

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Su says he is focused on local elections, not the presidency

TAIPEI--Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said Wednesday that he will help his party win the important seven-in-one local elections in November before thinking about whether he will run for president in 2016.

Winning the year-end elections for the DPP has been part of his goal since he took the party chairman post two years ago, Su told reporters after a meeting of the party's Central Standing Committee.

Instead of campaigning for the local elections himself, however, Su said he will offer his assistance to other DPP nominees, starting April 19 with Yu Shyi-kun (游錫?), who will run for New Taipei mayor.

Asked about his interest in running for president in 2016, Su said that this should be arranged "step by step," suggesting that the DPP should concentrate on the run-up to this year's local elections rather than looking ahead to 2016.

Su, 66, announced April 14 that he will not seek re-election as party chairman, to avoid "damage" to the party in the run-up to the important local elections in November.

Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), another potential contender, followed shortly afterward with his own statement that he was withdrawing from the race.

Their moves have left Tsai Ing-wen, a former DPP chairwoman who stepped down after being defeated in the 2012 presidential election by incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou, as the sole candidate in the chairmanship election scheduled for May 25.

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