The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday supported the judicial inquiry into the Papua New Guinea diplomatic fund scandal and said its anti-corruption committee would launch an investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.
DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said that it was the consensus of the party’s extraordinary National Congress that they “will not harbor evildoers and cover up their evil deeds.”
“Corruption is one of the main reasons for our recent election defeats,” he said. “We must reflect on ourselves, upgrade the function of the anti-corruption committee and mete out punishment to party members committing graft in a definite and speedy manner.”
Yesterday’s extraordinary National Congress, which was called to discuss the DPP’s recent election losses, turned out to be a talking shop due to the lack of a quorum.
Participants talked about the 11 proposals, which will be sent to the Central Executive Committee meeting for deliberation and then the new National Congress. The new congress is scheduled to be elected on May 18 and meet in July.
Hsieh said he regretted few people turned up yesterday and that he thought most party members have not yet emerged from their election gloom.
“While individual party members are licking their wounds, I hope the entire party will stand up on its feet again by helping each other,” he said.
The fund scandal also played a role in representatives’ unwillingness to attend yesterday’s meeting, Hsieh said.
Describing the scandal as “embarrassing,” former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Hsieh’s running mate in the presidential election, told reporters after the meeting that he felt sorry that only a few members had shown up for yesterday’s meeting.
Su said he supposed most members were still upset about the election defeat and have not found the will to jump into action.
The three candidates vying for the party chief were invited to deliver addresses at the congress, amid calls for an end to factional infighting and immediate negotiation with the three to produce one candidate.
Former senior presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) called for unity and cooperation, saying that he would like to work together with the other two.
The 82-year-old said that he has never stood in any election before nor did he care about party affairs. The reason he joined the race was because the DPP lost three major elections and he worried that the DPP must act as a check on the power of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which will soon control the executive and legislative branches.
He promised, if elected, to spend two years soliciting first-hand opinions by visiting party charters to restore the public’s trust in the party.
Former vice premier Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said the party must continue to insist on Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, deepen its democracy and pursue reform and progression.
Noting the bumpy road ahead, Tsai said the party must develop a more sophisticated political discourse that takes into consideration China’s increasing influence in the region and the world.
The party must recover its core values, consolidate its support base and secure more backers. Faced with the KMT’s majority government and legislature, the party must oversee with professionalism and transparency.
DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) praised his negotiation skills and extensive experience in elections. He proposed holding government-funded primaries for all political parties and encouraging party members to provide more service to grassroots supporters.