Wed, Mar 13, 2002 - Page 3 News List

DPP presses ahead with internal reforms

REORGANIZATION The party has suggested that its key committees be increased in size and that half of the seats on each committee be reserved for public servants

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pushing the party's reform and internalization efforts a step forward, DPP headquarters reached an internal consensus yesterday that public servants should assume half of the seats on its Central Standing and Central Executive committees, and that the two committees should add four more seats each to their current total members.

If the proposal is approved in the April 20 extraordinary national meeting, the Central Standing Committee will have a total of 15 members while the Central Executive Committee will have 35.

In addition, public servants -- including lawmakers, city councilors, city mayors and county commissioners -- will assume half of the seats on the two committees, which serve as the party's policy-making units.

Currently, the Central Standing Committee has 11 members, including one seat reserved for the party chairman.

Except for the chairman, the remaining 10 members are elected from the 31-member Central Executive Committee.

Thirty of the Central Executive Committee members are elected from the party's local representatives except for the one seat reserved for the party chairman.

Nevertheless, the party failed to reach a consensus on how to produce the eight additional Central Executive and Central Standing committee seats.

"I think that when the party is in the opposition, its three legislative leaders should assume the three posts and the extra one should be set aside for a public servant, either a city mayor or county commissioner" party Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) told reporters after yesterday afternoon's Central Executive Committee meeting.

When the party is in power, Hsieh said, three of the posts could be appointed by the president and the remaining one could be reserved for a city mayor or county commissioner.

Since Hsieh proposed last Tuesday to have the president double up as DPP party chairman, party members have expressed divided views over the resolution made by the Central Standing Committee.

Vice President Annette Lu (謝長廷) has come out clearly against the proposal.

"Please don't put the president in an embarrassing situation," Lu said at a tea party for a national women's group last Wednesday. "And please don't turn the Democratic Progressive Party into the Democratic Deteriorating Party."

To avoid embarrassing those who oppose the idea, Hsieh said the Central Executive Committee yesterday reached a consensus that party members should collect at least 20 signatures in presenting the proposal to the April 20 extraordinary national meeting instead of having the Central Executive Committee do so.

"Since it's such a sensitive issue, we'd like to see a public debate before it becomes final," Hsieh said.

During yesterday's meeting, Hsieh also proposed making a presidential candidate's campaign platform the party's charter upon that candidate being elected. However, the proposal failed to receive the support of Central Executive Committee members present yesterday.

In addition to party reforms, the meeting also set the timetable for the year-end elections of Taipei and Kaohsiung city councilors.

The elections are scheduled to take place on Dec. 7 to coincide with the Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections.

The committee decided that interested candidates must officially register between April 15 and April 19. The Central Executive Committee will review the qualifications of the candidates on April 23 and the primary will be held on May 26.

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