Sat, May 10, 2014 - Page 3 News List

DPP caucus penalizes Chen Ou-po

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ou-po, left, apologizes during a press conference yesterday at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei for his behavior at the funeral of President Ma Ying-jeou’s mother on Monday.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday penalized Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) over his behavior at the funeral of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) mother by suspending his right to participate in caucus activities for six months.

Chen will not be able to take part in any caucus activities, including being elected as a caucus official or as a convener for any legislative committee.

It is the strongest penalty the caucus has ever handed out, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) told a press conference.

DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said Chen would be allowed to attend caucus meetings, but his right to vote would be suspended for six months.

The Yilan County lawmaker showed up uninvited to Chin Hou-hsiu’s (秦厚修) funeral on Monday morning and expressed displeasure at what he said was an inadequate reception at the funeral home.

His comments were caught on videotape and were labeled by most media outlets as an intentional “disturbance.”

Chen has apologized several times this week for his actions, but this has not mollified his critics. He has said he simply wanted to pay tribute to Chin and “made a suggestion” to Ma’s aides that they should have made better arrangements for people who wished to mourn Chin. He said the media had blown the incident out of proportion.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers have petitioned for Chen to be referred to the Legislative Yuan’s Discipline Committee.

Chen said he accepted the caucus’ penalty. He also said that he had already taken the initiative to put an end to the incident by resigning as convener of the Foreign and National Defense Committee.

He said yesterday that he accept the referral to the Discipline Committee, which could bar Chen from exercising some of his rights as a legislator.

Several DPP politicians said that while they found Chen’s behavior unacceptable, they though the KMT’s reaction was aimed more at shifting attention away from a campaign launched by a group of activists to recall several KMT legislators, including Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) and Alex Tsai (蔡正元), for “being Ma’s pets” and ignoring the public’s voice in policy areas.

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