New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) yesterday said that he would not run for chairman again next month and has not yet decided whether to run again in next year’s legislative elections.
“After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to run for a seat on the party’s decisionmaking committee and step aside from duties,” Huang told a news conference at the party’s caucus office in Taipei.
He said he had not applied to join the committee, which stopped accepting applications for registration at 12am yesterday.
Not being on the committee would disqualify Huang from taking part in the chairperson election on Friday next week.
According to the NPP’s charter, the chairperson must be on the decisionmaking committee and is elected by its 15 members.
Huang has been on the committee for two terms and chosen as chairman twice since he joined the party in 2015.
“Since the party has developed a steady foundation, this is an appropriate time for me to set aside my party duties and switch my focus to promoting reforms important to Taiwan’s future,” Huang wrote on Facebook earlier in the day.
Although there is still room for improvement, the NPP has successfully differentiated itself from the pan-green and pan-blue camps, and has built a solid political base, he said.
The party won five legislative seats in 2016, and 16 seats in the city and county council elections in last year, he said.
Opinion polls conducted earlier this month found that 12 to 17 percent of the public supports the NPP, he added.
Huang told the news conference that he hopes to see more talented members participate in running the party so that the public could come to know them better.
While it is common for minor parties to have the same chairman for many years, he has always believed that “the NPP will not and should not do that,” he said.
“The NPP is a democratic party, not a one-man party,” he added.
He would continue to work as a legislator, but would not take up the party’s caucus convener post, he said.
“If I do continue my career in politics, I would have to decide where to place myself to better contribute to issues that I care about and how I can make Taiwan a nation where everyone has an equal chance to realize their dream,” he said.
Asked by reporters if his decision not to contest the chairmanship was to take responsibility for the NPP’s loss in New Taipei City last year, or if he was considering running for president next year, Huang said no.
The decisionmaking committee election is to be held online from Monday to Wednesday next week. Sixty-four people have registered to compete for the 15 seats.
They include NPP legislators Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), Freddy Lim (林昶佐), Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸) and Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, NPP Secretary-General Chen Hui-min (陳惠敏) and Taipei City Councilor Lin Liang-chun (林亮君).
While many expect Lim to be elected chairman, he told reporters yesterday that he has no plan to compete for the position.
“There are many talented young members of the party and it would be good to have a younger chairman,” he said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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