Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers and party members yesterday identified the first family's recent controversies and the uncertainty over the nomination of the party's candidate for Taipei mayor as challenges facing the party in a day-long conference.
The conference was organized in a bid to find solutions to the problems posed by the DPP's deteriorating popularity and flagging public image. It was attended by party heavyweights, legislators, grassroots members and political researchers who offered their opinions and suggestions.
Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun participated and presided over the discussion sessions.
The conference focused on three topics: the DPP's fundamental values and public image, the development of the DPP's central and local organizations and the DPP's nomination systems.
During the conference, DPP Taipei City Councilor Lee Chien-chang (李建昌) criticized President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his family for their lack of credibility and accountability on issues of integrity that have damaged the DPP's public image. Lee questioned why party heavyweights such as Lu, Yu, Su and Hsieh, who hold important governmental offices, had not raised these issues with the president.
"No matter how hard grassroots members try, high-ranking members can ruin our efforts easily," Lee said.
Some DPP members voiced similar opinions, saying the first family lacked humility and had no intention of reflecting upon their mistakes.
Another major talking point was the uncertainty over the party's candidate for the Taipei mayoral election, since nobody registered for the primary by last Friday's deadline. DPP Legislator You Ching (
You added that he felt the DPP had not been "fair" to him because the party actually wanted Hsieh to run for mayor. But the party chairman responded that You had failed to meet the application requirements and could not blame the party for this.
"The primary must be run according to the rules and we hope party members will obey those rules," Yu said.
Conference attendants also focused on discussing how to hammer out a new nomination system that would help the DPP to identify candidates who were capable of winning elections.