The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is seeking to replace Greater Tainan Councilor Wang Ding-yu (王定宇), who won the primary and was slated to run for legislator, a senior party politician has confirmed.
Mark Chen (陳唐山), a former Tainan County commissioner, said yesterday that he has been approached by DPP officials to represent the party in Greater Tainan’s fifth district, where Wang narrowly beat incumbent Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) three months ago.
“I won’t accept the nomination,” he said in an interview with the Central News Agency. “There’s no reason at all to not let Wang run in the elections; the DPP is not following its own rules.”
The five-term city councilor, who is highly popular in pro--independence circles, was involved in a scandal involving a charity last month that he has labeled as “political manipulation” masterminded by Lee, his former election opponent.
He has denied accusations that he appropriated millions of NT dollars in donations for Typhoon Morakot victims that remained unaccounted for.
He opened up his books last month, including checkbooks and donation receipts, that he said was proof that more than NT$3.29 million (US$114,334) was spent on disaster relief, greater than the amount originally donated.
Previously, DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said that Wang would be nominated if no evidence of wrongdoing was found by a DPP disciplinary committee, Chen said.
However, after the committee ruled in Wang’s favor, “the DPP used other technical reasons to still prevent the nomination,” he said.
“We should respect public opinion,” which gave Wang a clear lead over Lee, Chen said.
The Greater Tainan nominations are a difficult issue for the DPP, which put Wang on six months of probation, and put Lee on two months’ probation, saying that their spat damaged the party’s reputation.
Senior party officials privately expressed concern that a failure to nominate Wang could upset his supporters in the pan-green stronghold. However, it would be difficult to wait until November, when his probation ends, to offer him the nomination, they say.
DPP officials say that they are still interpreting the party regulations, because this is the first-ever case of a party politician being placed on probation after taking winning a primary. Wang’s case is still on hold, pending a final announcement by the Central Executive Committee.
DPP politicians in Greater Tainan have told the DPP that a failure to nominate Wang “could be a danger” to the DPP’s prospects in the area.