Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has signed a petition and issued an open letter to party representatives to call for the release of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on medical grounds.
Su signed the petition — launched by several doctors, including National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) — after drawing criticism earlier for refusing to sign it despite his verbal support.
“We call on supporters to sign the petition and express our concerns about the former president’s health and right to medical treatment,” Su told reporters after the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting.
He also issued an open letter to 266 party representatives nationwide who serve as city or county councilors and 45 opinion leaders to appeal for their support.
The DPP urged the city and county councilors to propose resolutions in support of Chen’s release for medical treatment, Su said.
These moves were part of follow-up efforts of a resolution the party passed on June 27, he said.
The agenda and proposals for the party’s national congress, which will be held on Sunday, were discussed at the Central Standing Committee meeting.
Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) voiced support for a proposal to reinstate members voting as part of the party’s election-nomination process — an idea that has already won the support of many party members.
Former DPP legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) said he would propose launching a recall of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers in about 10 constituencies, adding that he had collected about 50 signatures.
If the recall movement was successful and the DPP was able to win eight seats in the by-elections, it would be the first time in history that the DPP would control the legislature with an absolute majority, Chai said.