Wed, Dec 24, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP’s Taipei chapter seeks Chen’s return to the party

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is divided on whether to allow former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to return to the fold.

DPP Taipei chapter director Huang Chin-lin (黃慶林) told reporters yesterday he and his fellow members will visit Chen at his office tomorrow morning, and invite him to rejoin the party.

Huang said the chapter would then apply for Chen to return.

Chen and his wife Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) withdrew from the DPP on Aug. 15 after he apologized for the disgrace he has brought to the party by mismanaging campaign funds. Their announcement came one day after he admitted that Wu had wired an unspecified amount of money overseas that Chen had received for his two Taipei mayoral and two presidential campaigns between 1993 and 2004.

Chapter official Lin Shih-chung (林世宗) said yesterday that more than 90 percent of Taipei chapter members think that the party should let Chen return because he has not been found guilty of any charges he now faces. Lin said the party should deal with all its members with an equal basis.

DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said there was only media speculation about Chen wanting to return to the party and that the DPP would need more concrete information before commenting.

DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) said that if Chen promised not be just a member, not a party official, the DPP should have no reason to reject him.

DPP caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said that a member who has withdrawn from the party voluntarily could apply to rejoin it again after two years.

That would mean Chen could not return yet, he said.

Chen issued a statement yesterday thanking Hung and the Taipei chapter for their support. However, “now is not the time” for him to return, but he hoped he would have a chance to do so in the future.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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