Thu, Nov 13, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Senior DPP member quits to join the TSU

LEGISLATIVE CHANCES Tseng Hsing-chau said he would form a Tainan County chapter for the TSU and seek to run under its banner in next year's elections

By Chang Yun-Ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member quit the party yesterday to join the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and run in next year's legislative elections.

Tseng Hsing-chau (曾信超), a former DPP representative of the party's national congress and chairman of Chang Jung Christian University's Graduate School of Business and Operations Management, held a press conference yesterday to announce his withdrawal from the DPP.

Tseng said he will form the TSU's Tainan County chapter this Saturday.

"For the TSU, the 2004 legislative elections are as important as the next presidential election since they will determine whether the TSU will diminish or prosper in the political spectrum," Tseng said.

He said the Tainan chapter will not only support President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election bid, but serve as a preparatory base for the TSU to boost the number of legislative seats it holds in the elections in December next year.

The TSU has 13 legislative seats. It is considered a staunch partner of the DPP.

The DPP has long dominated its traditional support base in southern Taiwan, particularly in Tainan County where Chen is from.

Some DPP politicians who fear being crowded out in the fierce internal competition to win the party's legislative nominations next year, may switch to the TSU to improve their chances of being elected.

TSU Secretary General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) yesterday said the TSU and DPP have cooperated and competed on various issues. Lin said that although the parties will work closely for Chen's re-election bid, they will compete against each other in the legislative elections.

"We believe if the DPP wins the 2004 presidential elections, its next goal will be to win over half of the legislative seats, which means they will have to expand from their 89 seats to 113. I don't think the DPP will achieve this goal, but the TSU does have the potential to rise from our present 13 seats to 26," Lin said yesterday.

Asked whether the TSU will seek more recruits such as Tseng from other parties, Lin said yes.

He said that more people would join the TSU, including those from the localization faction of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), ahead of next year's legislative elections.

Chang Yu-jen (張郁仁), director of the DPP's organizational development department, yesterday confirmed that Tseng had coordinated with the party before his withdrawal.

Chang said Tseng's departure will not affect the DPP's grassroots support level because it was due to personal considerations.

"We are confident that the DPP legislators and those DPP members intending to run in the next legislative elections will remain faithful to the party," Chang said.

"Tseng's leaving may have more to do with his belief that he would gain more of an edge for the 2004 elections," he said.

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