A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) panel is scheduled to meet today to discuss imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) application to rejoin the party.
His membership application has drawn a mixed reaction from DPP members and politicians.
“We will handle the issue in accordance with the party’s existing mechanisms,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said when he was asked about the application, which surfaced in late May before the DPP held its party congress.
Chen withdrew from the party in August 2008 amid growing controversy over a corruption investigation against him.
He is now serving a 20-year sentence for corruption.
Su appointed Central Standing Committee member Tsai Hsien-hao (蔡憲浩) and legislators Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) and Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) to the panel to review Chen’s application.
The panel had been scheduled to meet on June 27, but postponed the session because of the signing of the cross-strait service trade agreement, would have a tough decision to make as the party’s membership, including senior politicians, is split about Chen’s return.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has hinted at her opposition to the idea, while former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and former premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) support Chen.
No DPP regulation prohibits Chen from applying for a membership five years after his withdrawal, DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) has said.
However, Chen would not be able to hold any party post or participate in election for public office because of his corruption conviction.