Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 1 News List

DPP members, officials clash at party office in Taipei

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and members clash at the party’s office in Taipei yesterday over remarks DPP Secretary-General Wang Tuoh made about supporters of former president Chen Shui-bian. 

PHOTO: CNA

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials clashed yesterday morning after members loyal to former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) held a protest at the party’s office in Taipei.

Huang Chin-lin (黃慶林), director of the DPP’s Taipei branch, led dozens of Chen supporters to the DPP office to protest remarks by DPP Secretary-General Wang Tuoh (王拓) against Chen.

Wang on Saturday criticized party officials who attended rallies in support of Chen after DPP Deputy Secretary-General Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) was spotted at an event in Kaohsiung with the former president.

Wang said he believed it was a “negative” thing for party officials to participate in the rallies, adding that politicians should be able to “tell right from wrong.”

The protesters asked Wang to apologize and step down.

“Protect Tsai Ing-wen [DPP chairwoman], Wang Tuoh step down,” they sang.

DPP Vice Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福), who met the protesters on behalf of the party, told them it was the chairwoman’s right to decide on the appointment and removal of DPP officials, adding that if they supported Tsai, they should respect her decisions.

“Everyone should remember that after A-bian [Chen Shui-bian] held a press conference [admitting he failed to fully declare his campaign funds], DPP Taipei branch Director Huang Chin-lin was the first DPP member to ask the party to expel Chen,” Hung said.

Huang and the protesters then rushed toward Hung, triggering a clash between protesters, DPP officials and office staff.

The altercation lasted about 10 minutes, whereupon Huang asked the protesters to leave, adding they would come back tomorrow, when the party’s Central Standing Committee is scheduled to meet.

Accompanied by Tsai, Huang yesterday afternoon apologized for the incident.

“Former president Chen’s performance in his eight-year term will be judged by history, but since DPP grassroots supporters remain passionate about Chen, it is hard to control their behavior,” he said.

Tsai yesterday called for party unity and barred DPP officials from pro or anti-Chen rallies.

Tsai also asked officials not to speak publicly on the matter.

Separately, the DPP yesterday said it would stage a protest this weekend against a planned visit by China’s top cross-strait negotiator, Chen Yunlin (陳雲林).

Although the date of the visit has yet to be set, National Security Council Secretary-General Su Chi (蘇起) said it would be best if it took place before the APEC summit that opens on Nov. 22 in Peru.

Addressing concerns over protocol for a possible meeting between the Chinese official and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Su said Ma would “certainly uphold dignity and parity.”

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