Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) fired another salvo at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday, comparing calls for party unity to strategies adopted by Adolf Hitler and Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).
Underscoring an ongoing spat between Lu and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) over the party primaries, Lu said the DPP needed to seriously address member dissatisfaction rather than provide “empty slogans.”
“The [DPP] should not just keep yelling empty phrases about ‘unity’... and not face up to [its] problems,” she said, ostensibly in reference to Tsai’s remarks to the DPP caucus on Monday.
“Hitler and Chiang Kai-shek loved yelling ‘unity.’ Should we be like [them]?” she said.
Asked whether she supported Tsai as party leader, Lu said there was no need for her to do so.
“I am in the same boat with Taiwanese,” she added.
Her comments, the most serious accusation so far against the party where she serves as a central executive committee member, come amid deepening divisions within the DPP one month before it settles on a presidential nominee.
The break between Lu and Tsai comes despite calls by Lu to hundreds of party supporters on Sunday to “never give up on the DPP.”
The event, which drew about 400 party supporters, was organized by DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) and other members of the “Kung Ma,” or “elder,” faction. A petition calling for Tsai’s resignation was circulated at the event, but did not gain serious traction.
Lu said Tsai’s absence at the event was a sign of disrespect to party members, who she said were fuming after the DPP congress decided to drop a party member vote in the legislative and presidential primaries.
“It would have been good even if she’d shown up just for a little while. Had she done this and shown respect to party members, there would have been unity,” Lu said.
A deputy secretary-general was sent to the event in lieu of Tsai, who said she had prior engagements in the south.