Tue, Dec 24, 2002 - Page 2 News List

DPP set to hold party-policy seminar next January

TOUGH TALKING Among the topics discussed at the two-day meeting will be national security, economic development and administrative reform, officials said

CNA , TAIPEI

The DPP will hold a seminar Jan. 11 and Jan. 12 to discuss six major topics, including national security, economic development and administrative reform, senior party officials said yesterday.

"The two-day seminar is aimed at soliciting opinions of party members on the government's agenda and at forging intraparty consensus on major policy issues," DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said at a press conference.

The seminar will focus mainly on finance and economics, national security, political reform, social welfare and public health, and public construction, as well as educational, cultural and technological development, Chang said.

He added that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who also serves as the DPP chairman, will be convener of the seminar and that the participants will include Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Yu Shyi-kun, Vice Premier Lin Hsin-yi (林信義), Secretary-General to the President Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) and National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁).

The meeting will also be attended by heads and deputy heads of various ministries, as well as DPP legislators, city mayors and county magistrates, members of the DPP's Central Standing Committee and Central Executive Committee, and the chairmen of various DPP local chapters.

Chang said the seminar is expected to help consolidate the communication and coordination mechanism among the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan, the DPP's legislative caucus and party headquarters.

Saying that the public has high expectations for the DPP administration, Chang said the seminar will mark the beginning of the party's efforts to further refine its decision-making process and coordinate with the government.

"We hope the seminar can help DPP lawmakers better understand the Cabinet's major policy goals and support the Cabinet's programs to realize these goals," he said.

Asked whether the seminar is related to the party's campaign program for the 2004 presidential election, Chang did not make a direct reply, saying only that the DPP's priorities are reform and the economy at the moment, not the presidential election.

DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅), also a leading figure of the party's "Welfare State" faction, said over the weekend that the biggest problem in the ruling party at present is that local party chapters and members of the legislative caucus have little chance to participate in the formation of party policies.

If the party and the administration do not improve the existing formula, in which the party chairman "decides everything," he said, a "collective crisis" might arise in the party.

Regarding the efforts to conduct reform and revitalize the economy, Lee said that the government should communicate with legislators of the ruling party so as to expedite the deliberation of related bills in the legislature.

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