Tue, Sep 13, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Wu retains DPP position, Liu new secretary-general

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) was re-elected yesterday as party caucus chief executive, while DPP Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) replaced Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) as caucus secretary-general.

Wu garnered 38 votes to defeat his rival, DPP Legislator Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), who received 25.

Chen renounced her candidacy ahead of the vote, leaving Liu to beat DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) 40 to 25.

The DPP caucus leadership election was held after negotiations failed to produce a consensus on who would assume the two posts.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) originally signed up for the caucus chief executive race, but later withdrew.

DPP legislators Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) and Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書), who were runing for caucus secretary-general, also dropped out of the race.

The positions are traditionally decided through negotiations, but the competition for caucus leadership escalated to an election, as the positions are considered a stepping stone for the mayoral elections in 2018.

Wu and Gao are widely believed to be eyeing the New Taipei City mayorship, while Chen Ting-fei and Liu are said to be interested in Tainan and Kaohsiung respectively.

The race also reflected competition amongst the party’s different groups, with Wu representing former DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) group, Chuang representing Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Liu the New Tide group.

Chuang set a precedent by making a campaign leaflet to canvas votes for the first time in caucus leadership elections.

Some political observers viewed his candidacy as a move by Hsieh’s group to regain influence in the legislature, as the group suffered a major defeat in the DPP’s national congress in July with zero seats in the Central Standing Committee.

Yesterday’s vote has also sparked speculation that it might pave the way for a caucus whip election next year.

Media reports said that DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) could challenge DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), whose term expires next year.

After a caucus general assembly in the morning that failed to prevent the vote, Ker called for party solidarity regardless of the election results.

Wu disputed claims that the election reflected conflict between different “factions,” saying if there was factionalism, his group has few members, but he was nevertheless elected.

Wu reiterated the need for solidarity and sportsmanship, saying he would continue his role of smoothing communication between the Cabinet and the DPP caucus.

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