Sun, Mar 09, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Pan-green leaders divided on Lin Yi-xiong’s new party

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) has joined the ranks of pan-green leaders backing a new party being planned by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin Yi-xiong (林義雄) that aims to contest the next presidential and legislative elections in 2016.

Tentatively named the Civil Assembly (公民組合), the party is to be comprised of participants in civil movements, including former Judicial Reform Foundation executive director Lin Feng-jeng (林峰正).

Huang said the formation of the new group would help build a broader base of support for the pro-localization green camp.

His view stood in contrast to the more widely expressed opinion that the pan-green camp stands to suffer more than the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) from the new party.

Pressed about the impact the Civil Assembly may have on the KMT and the pan-green camp, Huang downplayed the issue, saying he was not worried about fallout hurting the pan-green side.

“Lin Yi-xiong is a well-respected figure in society,” Huang said, adding that the initiative should be respected because it is “a right thing for the country.”

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said he believes the new political group would negatively impact the DPP in elections.

The DPP needs to communicate and coordinate with the nascent group to avoid being impaired in the polls, Hsieh said.

Hsieh said the DPP is suffering from low morale and needs to reform to expand its support base, adding that it was in a similar situation when the TSU was launched in 2001.

Thanks to the proper management of DPP-TSU ties, the DPP ended up taking 89 legislative seats in 2004, making it the biggest party in the legislature, with the TSU taking 13 seats, he said.

Forming a new party is “not a bad thing” because it shows the strength of the people, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said last week.

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