Wed, Jan 22, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blue blasts DPP membership drive

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Opposition lawmakers yesterday criticized the DPP for abandoning a long-cherished insistence on the separation of politics from police personnel by recruiting ranking police officials as members.

Seeking to preserve police neutrality, PFP legislators vowed to push for legal revisions forbidding law-enforcement officers from taking part in political activities or assuming partisan titles.

"It is improper for police officers to join any political party," PFP lawmaker Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠) said, commenting on the latest DPP membership drive.

Attending the ceremony yesterday hosted by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) were officials from the Central Police Administration as well as precinct chiefs from Keelung, Miaoli and Hsinchu.

Chin voiced concerns that the practice will lead police officers to use their DPP membership -- instead of hard work and competence -- as a springboard to higher professional ranks.

"If that proves true, I'm afraid law-enforcement officers will vie to join the DPP and the public will not trust their work," she said.

Chin proposed amending rules and mandating that police officers must stay above partisan interests and bar them from taking up official positions in any political party.

The planned amendments also seek to ban police officers from stumping for candidates, seeking elected office and from pursuing partisan goals inside police facilities.

Emphasizing the need for reform, PFP Legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) said he was disappointed at the DPP's increasing drift from one of its founding ideals.

"By recruiting police officers into the party, the DPP has embarked on a path tread by the KMT. It is a practice among many that caused the party to lose its longstanding grip on power in 2000," Sun said.

The KMT legislative caucus said it was not the least perturbed by the DPP's membership drive.

KMT legislative leader Cheng Feng-shih (鄭逢時) said all the DPP's new members are known for their pro-DPP stand.

"That being so, the increased membership will not add any credit to the DPP," he said. "Rather, it betrays the party's hypocrisy."

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