Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 3 News List

DPP members cull New Tide and `bandits'

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators who did not perform well in Sunday's legislative primary vote withdrew yesterday from the party's legislative primary, a sign of the declining fortunes of the once-influential New Tide faction.

Former Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水), who garnered a mere 11.01 percent of the vote in the primary, and Legislator Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠) announced their intention to withdraw from the race.

Some 60,000 DPP grassroots supporters had earlier launched a campaign to prevent 11 "DPP bandits" -- many of whom were affiliated with the faction -- from becoming legislative nominees because of their outspokenness against the party.

DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), among the 11 blacklisted politicians, although she was not a member of the faction, lost to DPP Legislator Wang Shih-cheng (王世堅), by a margin of 33.87 percent in the first district of Taipei.

Hsiao said the boycott had influenced her campaign performance, adding that the sobriquet "Chinese Khim (中國琴)" had managed to "discredit" her.

"If [they] would like to discredit the New Tide faction as a `Chinese faction' and call me `Chinese Khim' because of my cooperation with the faction, shouldn't they also call President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) `Chinese Bian (中國扁)' because his trusted aide Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) also belongs to the faction?" she asked.

DPP Legislator Lin Su-shan (林樹山), with 17.20 percent, was another contender affiliated with the faction who performed poorly.

Shen told a press conference he would immediately stop his campaign activity and throw his full support behind rival DPP Legislator Chen Tsiao-Long (陳朝龍).

Shen was competing against Chen in the 12th legislative district of Taipei, but only garnered 567 votes, or 32.72 percent of the votes in the district, losing to Chen, who received 1,166 votes.

Under the DPP system, the party member vote counts for 30 percent of a would-be candidate's "score," while a public poll accounts for the remaining 70 percent. Consequently, Shen could only win the election if he beat Chen in the public opinion poll by a margin of at least 15 percent.

The poll will be held between Friday and June 17.

Shen said he was "deeply moved" after learning that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) had decided to opt out of the party's presidential primaryfor the sake of DPP unity.

Shen said he accepted the result of the vote, adding he would not have been able to prepare for the primary since his father recently passed away.

"I am worried, however, about the consequences of the infighting that occurred during the primary," he said.

"Although grassroots supporters have blamed the New Tide faction and reformists, they should not deny the devotion of this group to Taiwanese democracy," said Shen.

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