Thu, Jun 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP’s Tuan to withdraw from politics

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang, left, speaks with DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Following the passage of a major pension reform bill, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) yesterday announced that he would no longer run or hold any public office after the end of his term, as his mission of rolling out reforms would be completed by then.

“After the end of this term, I will not run anymore. I will not hold any position in the government, state-run businesses and legal entities or the DPP,” Tuan wrote on Facebook. “People who want to get back at me have to do it now. I will probably not be reachable in the future.”

The legislator-at-large has proposed and endorsed progressive bills on pension reform and same-sex marriage, making him a major target of criticism by reform opponents and conservatives.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平) on Monday threatened to “go after” Tuan “with thousands of knives” until the end of Tuan’s political career, after Tuan’s proposal to minimize the phaseout period of an 18 percent preferential savings rate for public employees was adopted.

A draft bill on pension reform proposed by Tuan included clauses that would accelerate the pace of pension cuts — including a two-year phaseout of the preferential savings rate, which was passed into law on Tuesday — and would lower the income replacement ratio for public employees to 60 percent in five years, which influenced the DPP caucus into accelerating the ratio cut from a proposed 15 years to 10 years.

Tuan has also endorsed a draft bill to legalize same-sex marriage by amending the Civil Code and has voiced objections to proposals to legislate a special same-sex marriage law, which advocates and opponents consider a middle ground.

“Those who criticize and threaten to chase and kill me do not understand me. As a legislator-at-large, I have chosen the most unpopular Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee [of the Legislative Yuan] because there are missions to complete, including marriage equality, pension reform, transitional justice and legislative reform,” Tuan wrote.

The committee last year completed reviews of transitional justice and marriage equality bills, followed by pension reform this year, and is to begin reviewing legislation to reform the legislature next year, Tuan added.

The DPP did not comment on the announcement, which nearly amounts to a withdrawal from politics.

Tuan is a figurehead of the DPP’s New Tide faction, arguably the most influential group in the party.

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