Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday urged members and supporters to give the DPP “more time and another chance” before deciding to turn their backs on the party.
Hsieh, who lost the presidential election to Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on March 22 and tendered his resignation from the chairmanship shortly afterward, made the call in his opening address at a debate at the Kaohsiung City Bureau of Labor Affairs.
The debate was the only one the three candidates for the chairmanship — former vice premier Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Koo Kuang-ming (辜寬敏), a former senior adviser to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), and Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) — would hold before the May 18 vote.
In his speech, Hsieh asked supporters to keep their faith in the party despite the high-profile diplomatic scandal in which US$30 million remitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to two middlemen to establish formal ties with Papua New Guinea in September 2006 has gone missing.
Although the case has dealt another blow to the party’s image and some believe high-ranking officials in the DPP government embezzled some of the funds, Hsieh said that, based on his lengthy experience as both a lawyer and a politician, he believed that the case had nothing to do with corruption.
Asking party members and supporters to let prosecutors handle the case, Hsieh urged them to stick with the party.
“Before deciding to leave and turning your back [on the party], give the DPP more time and another chance,” Hsieh said, asking party members to allow whoever was elected chairman to make a “brand new start.”