Sun, Jan 29, 2012 - Page 2 News List

DPP whip touts alliance with opposition parties

WHIPPING UP SUPPORT:Legislator-elect Hsu Tain-tsair is challenging Ker Chien-ming for the position of DPP caucus whip, with a vote expected on Wednesday

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

As discussions continue over the selection of the next Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip, current party whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that if re-elected, he would promote an alliance with the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the People First Party (PFP) in the legislature.

Ker said he and DPP Chair-person Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would visit TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) to discuss the possibility of forming an alliance of opposition parties in the legislature.

The TSU and the PFP each hold three seats in the legislature, following the Jan. 14 elections.

The DPP caucus failed to select a new whip after holding a meeting on Friday to fill three caucus positions — whip, director-general and chief secretary — ahead of the new legislative session, which begins on Wednesday.

Ker faces a challenge from legislator-elect Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財).

The caucus decided to give Ker and Hsu until 6pm on Tuesday to reach an agreement — otherwise the party would vote on Wednesday to fill the position.

Meanwhile, Tsai yesterday embarked on a nine-day “thank-you tour” to express her gratitude to voters for their support in the presidential election.

Tsai, who made her first stop in her hometown in Pingtung County, told supporters that the DPP would use the experience of the loss in the presidential election to conduct a complete review of its previous four years, and to help decide how the party should move forward.

The review covers long-term structural problems, the shortcomings of the party’s campaign team, and how factors such as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), China and Taiwan’s general structural environment affected the party’s performance in the elections, Tsai said.

The review would be completed and made public before her scheduled resignation as chairperson on March 1, Tsai said, adding that the party would use the review’s conclusions to strengthen itself.

Tsai said the DPP led on most social reform issues in the five special municipality elections and in the presidential election, and the KMT had been forced to follow its lead.

“I expect the party to continue to lead on social reform issues. People have great expectations for the new DPP legislative caucus. The 40 DPP legislators are mostly in their 40s. They are the hope of the party’s next generation and these are subjects that people want to commit to. I hope they will conduct themselves well in the legislature,” Tsai said.

“I have never regretted going into politics,” she told supporters. “This has been the most brilliant part of my life. I thank all of you for spending your time with me.”

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