Mon, Jul 24, 2006 - Page 1 News List

DPP votes to do away with factions

TERMINATED A measure banning the establishment and operation of factions was passed at the DPP's national convention, despite opposition from some

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday resolved to dissolve its factions in a move to bolster party unity. Although some factions expressed opposition to the move, Chairman Yu Shyi-kun said it would benefit the DPP's long-term development.

The motion proposed by DPP Legislator Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) was passed during the second and last day of the party's national convention.

A total of 279 party delegates attended the convention and 153 voted in favor of Wang's proposal.

Many party heavyweights, including Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Acting Kaohsiung Mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) and Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山) raised their hands in support of the proposal.

Although DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) had proposed a pact calling for "self-restraint" among factions as an alternative to banning them, only 113 delegates supported it, falling short of the majority necessary to pass.

According to Wang's motion, the DPP must immediately prohibit factions from setting up offices, recruiting members, holding meetings, collecting membership fees or raising funds.

The party should also forbid factions from asking government officials to brief them on policies.

However, disciplinary measures for those who violate the resolution were not spelled out yesterday.

They will be worked out at the next national convention if no provisional convention is called before that to address the issue, DPP Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said.

As soon as the resolution was approved, Justice Alliance faction leader Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) issued a press release announcing that it would stop functioning, and prohibiting anyone from speaking in the name of the alliance.

The Welfare State Alliance faction and the Green Alliance faction made similar statements, saying they would respect and obey the resolution.

Although the leader of the New Tide faction, William Lai (賴清德), yesterday said the group would accept the resolution, the former chief convener of the faction, Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康), said he found the resolution regrettable.

DPP leaders mistook the factions for the real cause of the party's problems, Tuan said.

"The DPP's factions are by no means the cause of disorder. Policy flip-flops and power struggles are the crux of the problems," he said. "We find it regrettable that the party has missed a chance to find out what the real trouble is and push for reform."

Tuan said he was "frightened" to see the party blindly pass the resolution banning factions, thinking that this had met the public's expectations.

"Without the existence of factions, the DPP will lose a mechanism for communication and coordination," Tuan said. "Will it be a good thing for the DPP to have gangs existing in the party that have no [formal] organization?"

A Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislator said yesterday that the resolution would not necessarily be beneficial to bilateral cooperation between the two parties.

David Huang (黃適卓), chief convener of the TSU legislative caucus, said it was natural for the DPP's factions to support different policies, but the TSU did not think the New Tide Faction would give up its demand that the government pursue closer cross-strait economic relations, Huang said.

Additional reporting by CNAalso see story:

Anti-corruption measure passes at DPP meeting

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