The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday denied a media report that DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) had overturned one of the policies of his predecessor, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), that encouraged legislators-at-large to inaugurate local offices to strengthen the party’s grass-roots connections.
In a press release, DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) dismissed a Chinese-language report in the China Times yesterday which said that Su intends to terminate the policy and that the party had stopped funding several of its local offices.
Several DPP legislators-at-large have established offices in constituencies that do not have DPP legislators — among them Hualien, Miaoli and Hsinchu counties — since they were elected on Jan. 14, despite Tsai resigning as DPP chairperson after losing the presidential election on the same day.
Su has attended more than a dozen opening ceremonies for these offices in the past six months and recognized the legislators’ dedication to work at a grass-roots level in constituencies that have long been considered the DPP’s “weak link,” Lin said.
DPP headquarters has plans to present a comprehensive project which integrates Tsai’s policy with former premier Yu Shyi-kun’s (游錫堃) proposal to work toward winning a legislative majority in 2016, so that the party is able to extend its reach to local communities and increase its support base simultaneously, Lin said.
DPP Department of Organization Director Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) — who was quoted in the report as saying that the party would not terminate the policy, but “adjust” it by handing the operation of the offices to “potential candidates” in those constituencies — clarified his comments in a press release.
The adjustment would be made in consideration of the heavy workloads and financial pressures of several legislators-at large in two or three constituencies, Lee said.
Lee added that most of the expenditure on those offices came from members’ wages.
Hong Yao-fu (洪耀福), a spokesperson for Tsai’s office, said the DPP should at least run the offices for a number of years before adjusting the policy if it had failed to produce satisfactory results.