Tue, Nov 14, 2006 - Page 1 News List

DPP pair resign from legislature

CRACKS IN THE WALL They said the DPP's response to the indictments in the `state affairs fund' case did not meet the public's expectations or the party's moral standards

By Flora Wang, Jimmy Chuang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

"If we had discussed more rationally whether the party should suspend the president's membership and showed the public the party's reform spirit, they [Lin and Lee] would have felt differently."

DPP Legislator Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶), however, said the resignations "rubbed salt in the party's wound."

He said "the timing was wrong" because the party had been listening to all kinds of suggestions. He also said he was worried the pair would "harm the DPP" by continuing to criticize it.

DPP Legislator Lai Ching-te (賴清德), who is close to Lee, said he was "shocked."

"I think, in this difficult time, all warriors have to stay on the battlefield. This is the warriors' responsibility," Lai said.

Whether yesterday's resignations would have a domino effect in the DPP was unclear last night.

Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) said she did not think other DPP members would resign, while Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said he would not follow the pair's example "for the time being."

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus said the two DPP lawmakers had made "a choice about right and wrong."

KMT Legislator Lin Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍) said the pair had sacrificed themselves for the greater good of the DPP.

The KMT caucus called on other DPP supporters to distance themselves from the party and urged the DPP to reflect on itself.

Lin Cho-shui and Lee Wen-chung were among the founders of the DPP's former New Tide faction. Both have been active in the democratic movement since the DPP was an opposition party.

They said they would leave their positions by the end of this week.

Lin Cho-shui's position as a legislator-at-large will be filled by Hsu Te-hsiang (許德祥), while Lee Wen-chung's seat as a representative of a Taipei County district will not be filled, according to the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants (公職人員選罷法).

The DPP will now have 84 seats in the Legislative Yuan.

"They are both remarkable DPP members. We are truly sorry they are leaving their posts," Government Information Office Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said on behalf of Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

"We were fully aware of their decision to leave before they made the announcement," he said.

"We respect their decision. But their decision also indicates that there are problems at the DPP and the DPP must do something to fix them as soon as possible," Cheng said.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said that he had persuaded the pair to hold off submitting their resignation letters to him for a few days.

"Lee [Wen-chung] spoke to me on the telephone after their press conference and I told them that they should sleep on it as their resignations would become effective once they have submitted them," he said.

But Wang said that the pair seemed to be determined to follow through with their plan.

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Editorial: Chen faces a tough choice

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