Sat, Feb 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP forms its own youth council

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, center, and members of the party's youth committee gesture as they call on young people to join the party at a press conference yesterday.

PHOTO: SUNG CHIH-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

In an effort to encourage youth to participate in politics and contribute their talents to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the party yesterday announced a plan to establish a youth committee.

In the wake of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) establishment of a youth corps, the DPP yesterday held a news conference to beckon young people to participate in its own organization for promising political neophytes.

Many DPP legislators attended the news conference to support the formation of the new youth organization and cited themselves as examples to prove the DPP's appreciation of young people's potential and ability.

"I was only 26 years old when I served as the director of the DPP's department of international affairs in 1996. I myself benefited from the DPP's respect for young people's originality and capability," DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), 36, said. "Therefore, I encourage young people to join the DPP's youth committee and to help create history together with us."

Chen Ying (陳瑩), 34, said that her first job after leaving school was as a DPP legislator and that she appreciated the manner in which the DPP welcomed young people with open arms. Chen urged people who are interested in politics to give the party a chance and said that she believed members would gain useful experience and connections in the new youth organization.

DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬), 35, criticized the KMT's Youth Corps, saying that it is merely a means of nurturing the talents of the sons of some of the KMT's heavyweights, many of whom are not young at all.

"The DPP is facing a crisis in that the party's elites are getting old and we need more new faces to join us," Cheng said.

DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun said the formation of the youth committee was one of his campaign promises in the chairmanship election and is intended to inject new blood into the party in order to boost reforms.

Hsu Chien-jung (許建榮), deputy director of the department of youth development, said the DPP will select 35 members for the new committee, which will be divided into three sub-groups geared toward young political workers, general youth and college students. Young people who are between the ages of 18 and 35 are welcome to apply, Hsu said.

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