Wed, Dec 09, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Wu Nai-jen resigns as DPP secretary-general, again

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen, right, jokes with the party’s secretary-general, Wu Nai-jen, at a meeting in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary-general Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) tendered his resignation yesterday, citing health problems.

Wu told the press that he was feeling “tired” after being on the frontline for the last eight months and that he believed stepping aside would give the younger generation a chance to serve and learn.

Wu said his decision had nothing to do with his current legal troubles.

In July, the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office indicted Wu, a former Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar) chairman, and former DPP legislator Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) for breach of trust, saying that Wu abused his power to sell land owned by Taisugar at a steep discount to Chunlung Co after lobbying by Hong. Both defendants deny the allegations.

In a breakfast meeting yesterday hosted by DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to thank DPP staffers for their work ahead of Saturday’s elections, Tsai praised Wu and asked him to reconsider.

But Wu declined, saying with a chuckle: “She had to ask me to stay. If she had approved my resignation right away it would have been too embarrassing.”

Wu has a long history of heart problems. When asked by Tsai to return to the post eight months ago, he only agreed because he wanted to help the party through a tough time, he said yesterday.

“But Saturday’s election results show the DPP is making a steady recovery, so I think this is a good time for me to leave,” Wu said, adding that he felt both physically and mentally tired.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) won 12 of the 17 counties and cities in the elections, but only won 47.88 percent of the total vote, a drop of 2 percent from the 2005 elections. While the DPP secured only four of the counties and cities, it received 45.32 percent of the total ballot, a 7.2 percent increase.

Meanwhile, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday that the KMT owed its members and supporters an apology because they had been let down.

“It’s true that the KMT did not do well in the election, but it won 12 of 17 slots,” Wu said when approached for comment.

Wu dismissed critics who said the party’s nominee mechanism was one of the reasons behind its poor showing in the polls, saying that candidates were nominated by the party’s Central Standing Committee after careful consideration.

In related developments, the disciplinary committee at the KMT’s Hualien County branch yesterday said it would suspend the member rights of Hualien County Commissioner Hsieh Shen-san (謝深山) for endorsing Zhang Zhi-ming (張志明), who left the KMT to run as an independent in the Hualien County commissioner election.

The committee said Hsieh violated party regulations by not supporting an independent candidate rather than the KMT candidate.

Hsieh later said he respected the party’s decision.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN AND MO YAN-CHIH

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