Wed, Oct 31, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Expelled TSU pair want explanation

OUSTER Legislator Liao Pen-yen said the party had not told them what they did wrong, while the DPP said it would not comment on its ally's internal procedures

By Jimmy Chuang and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Legislator Huang Chung-yung, second left, yesterday shakes hands with Government Information Office Minister Shieh Jhy-wey as Legislator Liao Pen-yen, right, talks to Deputy Premier Chiou I-jen on the legislative floor yesterday. Huang and Liao were expelled from the Taiwan Solidarity Union on Monday.

PHOTO: CNA

Former Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislators Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) and Huang Chung-yung (黃宗源) demanded an explanation from party headquarters yesterday for their expulsion from the party.

"They said that we were not following the TSU's spirit and policies, so we needed to go. What kind of reason is that?" Liao said at a press conference at the legislature yesterday morning.

The TSU's Central Executive Committee decided on Monday to expel the pair.

"They never talked to us and they never told us what we had done wrong or which party rule we broke. It is not fair to kick us out just like that," Liao said.

"They said that I did not follow the TSU's spirit and policies? Excuse me, but I am one of the five founders of the TSU. I have been the acting chairman for more than two months. Who knows the party's spirit and policies better than I?" Huang said.

TSU caucus whip Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) compared Liao and Huang to Major League Baseball free agents.

"I am sorry to see them go. I wish the party headquarters would give them a chance to appeal," Lo said. "But if not, I hope they find a new team soon."

TSU Legislator Lin Jih-jia (林志嘉) said the pair's apparent lack of interest in party caucus matters was behind the decision.

"They have not participated in any caucus meetings or discussions since September. I think that is the main reason why other people would believe that they do not care about the TSU anymore," Lin said.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) downplayed the TSU move, saying that it respected its ally's system.

DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) told a press conference at party headquarters that he was not in a position to comment because he did not know whether the dismissal had anything to do with his party.

"We respect their democratic system and autonomy," he said.

DPP Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said that he was "surprised" by the TSU's decision but that it was "impolite" for the DPP to comment on the matter now because the two legislators can still appeal the move.

The pair can appeal to the TSU's Arbitration Committee within 10 days of receiving written notice of the expulsion.

When asked whether the DPP would ask the pair to join the party, Cho said that it had not asked them to join.

The parties have agreed that the DPP will not nominate candidates in the constituencies where the two TSU legislators will stand in January's legislative elections and that the DPP will work to help them win.

Cho said the pair's expulsion would not affect the inter-party negotiations about nominations in other constituencies.

There are many ways for the two parties to cooperate, Cho said, and opinions polls will be the last resort.

DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓), director of the party's Culture and Information Department, said that she was "astonished" at the news.

It is up to the TSU whether they want to nominate people to replace Liao and Huang, she said, but this was not a good time to say whether the DPP would try to recruit them.

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