Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary-general Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) yesterday said that he would quit the party — as well as a clique of former New Tide faction members, of which he is an influential member — to protest the nomination of Executive Yuan Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) for party chairperson.
Wu made the remarks in an instant messaging group used by the clique.
He singled out Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), a member of the group, as the source of his frustration, saying that Cheng’s endorsement of Cho after Cho last month lashed out at DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康), another member of the clique, showed that Cheng did not value his 30 years of friendship with Tuan.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
The move would negatively affect Tuan’s role as one of the group’s leading figures, Wu added.
Tuan last month sparked a dispute with Cho after he slammed his palm on the podium during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan when grilling Premier William Lai (賴清德) over DPP policies that had drawn public criticism, which he said led to the party’s losses in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.
Cho called Tuan’s harsh criticism of the party “completely unacceptable” and asked whether the DPP had been wrong to push pension reforms for retired civil servants, military personnel and public-school teachers.
Legislation to eliminate a much-criticized 18 percent preferential interest rate for the retirees in six years was led by Tuan, Cho said.
The party “took a wrong step” while reflecting after its election losses, as did President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) when she met with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Thursday, Wu said.
He added that while those errors cause him pain, his endorsement of Cho was the last straw.
“The New Tide faction is a failed project. It cannot speak its mind, even when the party is going through a crisis, which proves that it no longer has a reason to exist,” Wu said.
The DPP in 2006 dissolved its factions, but many continue to exist unofficially.
Asked for comment while accompanying Cho to register for the DPP chairperson election, Cheng said: “I have not learned of that situation.”
Cho said that Wu is an “amiable and experienced” DPP member who he hopes would remain in the party.
Additional reporting by Sean Lin and CNA
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