Sat, Dec 30, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP `bandits' in call for rational debate

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members known for their outspoken criticism of the party yesterday urged fellow members to judge them by whether they were right or wrong instead of their willingness to criticize the party.

Former DPP legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) told the press yesterday that the biggest problem with the party was it had failed to live up to its core values.

Tuan made the comments after a report in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday quoted former DPP legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) as having said that "the `11 bandits' who had been charged with violating the party's platform because of their outspoken criticism should rise together and fight back against the party's `fundamentalists' so as to `wake the party up.'"

The 11 people Shen was referring to included members of the DPP's former New Tide faction, such as Tuan, former legislators Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) and Lin Cho-shui (林濁水), and Legislators Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) and Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠).

Former legislators Lo Wen-chia (羅文嘉) and Shen and Legislators Kuo Jeng-liang (郭正亮), Lin Su-shan (林樹山) and Chen Yun-peng (鄭運鵬), who do not belong to the former New Tide faction, were also on the list of 11 bandits.

The list derived from a pro-independence radio show which recently launched a signature drive aimed at applying pressure on the DPP to prevent the 11 people concerned from becoming the party candidates in next year's legislative election.

The term "11 bandits," however, was coined by the media and not by any party officials.

"Party members would do better to attack our enemies [rather than us]," Tung said.

"Quite a few DPP supporters think we should not say this, but were our words wrong? They should question if our words were right or wrong and debate rationally with us," he said, adding that the party also "misused" its party platform to restrict members capacity to voice their opinions.

Before attending the DPP caucus meeting yesterday morning, Cheng said he and the others on the list felt wronged because the party had not engaged in self reflection even after the news on Wednesday that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son-in-law Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) had been sentenced to six years in jail for insider trading.

He said there had been "a tyranny of silence" within the party, which prevented many people from voicing their opinions.

Kuo urged DPP members to exchange different opinions rationally instead of "labeling" each other.

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