President and DPP Chairman Chen Shui-bian (
Aiming to deflect criticism from the opposition that those who chose to join the DPP did it to be closer to the center of power, Chen stressed there are no privileges or special benefits for DPP members.
"In a democratic society, the term `party member' is very neutral -- unlike in the authoritarian era when a `party member' had a special political status," Chen said at the swearing-in ceremony.
"Members who choose to join the DPP will have more responsibilities to serve and contribute to society. They will have absolutely no privileges or special benefits."
Nine police officers, along with a group of governmental officials and cultural elite, joined the DPP yesterday at a ceremony presided over by the president.
The new members include Keelung City Police Headquarters Director Wu Chen-chi (吳振吉), Presidential Office Security Department Chief Hsieh Fan-fan (謝芬芬) and Chang Chun-po (張春波), the security department chief of the presidential residence.
The party also chose to recruit representatives from different ethnic groups such as the prominent Hakka writer Chung Chao-cheng (
Council of Cultural Affairs Chairwoman Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀) also joined the party along with senior adviser to the president Ku Kuan-min (辜寬敏), chairman of the Taiwan Provincial Government Fan Kuang-chun (范光群), Council of Agriculture Chairman Lee Chin-lung (李金龍) and minister without portfolio Hu Sheng-cheng (胡勝正).
It was the second time that the DPP invited a group of executives and cultural leaders into the party.
Given that the DPP has criticized the KMT's efforts to control the nation's police and military systems by forcing them to join the party, PFP lawmakers said yesterday that the DPP had taken the path of its predecessor.
The KMT denounced the DPP's recruiting drive as a way to hide their incompetence as a ruling party.