Former premiers Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Yu Shyi-kun, along with the former New Tide faction, the most powerful grouping in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), came away victorious last night in elections that will shape the party for the next two years.
The two political heavyweights were elected to the 10-person Central Standing Committee (CSC), the party’s top decisionmaking and administrative body. Three members of the New Tide faction — Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康), Yen Hsiao-ching (顏曉菁) and Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) — were also voted onto CSC.
The two former premiers’ “factions” also did well, with Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) of the Hsieh faction and Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) of the Yu faction also elected to the committee.
Biennial elections for new members of the CSC, the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and the Central Review Committee, which oversees the party’s internal affairs, were held at the party’s annual national congress yesterday. The event marked a changing of the guard in the DPP after Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) became party chairman in May.
Thirty Central Executive Committee members were selected from 560 party representatives to make the final nominee list, before the newly elected CEC members cast their votes to elect the CSC members.
The CSC is comprised of 17 members: the 10 elected members — which also included Tsai Hsien-hao (蔡憲浩), Ho Chih-wei (何志偉) and Lee Ching-fu (李清福) — along with seven members designated by the chairperson, three DPP legislative caucus executives and three mayors.
Former DPP legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) failed to win a draw and so lost the opportunity to retain his CSC seat. He had been tied with Wu and Yen, who had two votes each.
The results of the Central Executive Committee election yielded a balanced power-sharing structure between the now disbanded factions, with New Tide winning seven seats, closely followed by Yu’s faction, with six seats, Hsieh’s faction with five and the Su Tseng-chang faction with four. The Green Friendship Alliance and Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu’s (陳菊) faction tied with two seats apiece.
The biggest surprise in the Central Executive Committee election was the loss of Deputy Kaohsiung Mayor Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), who lost by one vote.
The party posts are the only occasion within the DPP where factions can compete for power, which is why they are vociferously contested and produce rumors of vote-buying and other allegations of cheating.
Most DPP heavyweights, including Hsieh and Yu, played down the rumors, with Hsieh saying that such allegations were made in nearly every DPP election.
Eleven Central Review Committee members were also elected at the annual congress.