The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Taipei City branch yesterday approved a proposal to allow former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to return to the party.
All 15 members attending the branch’s executive committee provisional meeting voted for the proposal and agreed that the DPP should allow Chen to return.
“Chen could help solve disputes among different factions if he returned to the DPP, and it should have a positive effect in terms of party unity,” branch director Huang Ching-lin (黃慶林) said after the meeting.
Huang said he would take a membership application form with him when he visits Chen at the Taipei Detention Center today. The branch will ask the party to approve Chen’s application.
Chen and his wife Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) withdrew from the DPP last August after he admitted that Wu had wired an unspecified amount of money overseas from donations he had received during his two Taipei mayoral and two presidential election campaigns.
Executive committee member Hsu Chieh-yuan (�?�) said Chen had expressed a wish to return to the party when he visited him last Thursday and so the branch had proposed inviting Chen back into the fold.
Huang said Chen withdrew from the DPP to prevent the pan-blue camp from using his case to attack the party.
The prosecutors’ handling of Chen’s case has been problematic, Huang said.
“I believe the public can clearly see that political manipulation has been involved in the handling of Chen’s case,” he said.
Huang and other committee members urged the party to listen to the local branch and not to ignore Chen’s influence.
DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) told a press conference that if Chen submitted a membership application, a review committee consisting of three Central Standing Committee members would review the application.
He said Chen had voluntarily withdrawn from the party to avoid damaging the party.
Cheng said Chen should focus on his judicial cases, protect his judicial rights and the party would help Chen fight for a fair trial.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG