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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Taiwan's DPP to confirm candidate
Frank Hsieh
Frank Hsieh celebrates. He should now face the KMT's Ma Ying-jeou
Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party is expected to confirm former premier Frank Hsieh as its presidential candidate after he won a primary vote.

Mr Hsieh, 60, is a pragmatic politician who favours better ties with Beijing. He took a surprising 11 point lead over his nearest rival in the first round.

The opposition KMT named Ma Ying-jeou, who is facing corruption charges, as its candidate for the 2008 election.

If convicted, he may be forced to withdraw from the race altogether.

Smear tactics

A second round of voting had been planned, but the three other candidates in the primary vote announced they would step aside and throw their weight behind Mr Hsieh.

The DPP's executive committee meets on Monday evening and is expected to ratify a decision to halt the second phase.

Some of the candidates had criticised the voting process. The final stage of the campaign had been heated, reports the BBC's Caroline Gluck in Taipei, with accusations of corruption, smear tactics and party bias flying.

But the defeated candidates said that while the process had not been perfect, they accepted the result, stressing party unity was the way to electoral victory.

Mr Hsieh had a lead of more than 11 percentage points over current Premier Su Tseng-Chang, who many had thought would be the front runner.

Vice President Annette Lu trailed a distant fourth.

Mr Hsieh should go on to challenge Mr Ma.

However the KMT candidate is accused of misusing a special allowance fund when he was Taipei city mayor - a charge he strongly denies - and if convicted may be forced to withdraw.

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14 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Timeline: Taiwan
02 Jan 07 |  Country profiles

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