Sat, Feb 16, 2019 - Page 3 News List

NPP elects lawyer Chiu Hsien-chih as chairman

By Peng Wan-hsin  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party Chairman Chiu Hsien-chih speaks to reporters at a news conference after being elected in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday elected human rights lawyer Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) as its new chairman, with Chiu reaffirming the party’s emphases on promoting national sovereignty, labor rights and same-sex marriage.

Former NPP executive chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), who held the post from 2015, late last month surprised supporters by announcing that he would not run for re-election as chairman.

“As the party has developed a steady foundation, this is an appropriate time for me to cast aside my party duties and shift my focus to promoting reforms important to Taiwan’s future,” Huang said at the time.

Chiu, formerly director of the NPP’s Hsinchu chapter, was elected during a meeting of the party’s decisionmaking committee.

Defending Taiwan’s sovereignty, labor rights and marriage equality are the NPP’s most important missions, Chiu told a news conference after the meeting.

When asked by reporters if he would seek support from Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) in next year’s legislative elections, Chiu said that if a political party wants to grow up, it must first win supporters’ trust, rather than asking “big names” to back its candidates.

While the party’s stance on Taiwan’s sovereignty is similar to the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP), the NPP has different views about last year’s amendments the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) and same-sex marriage, he said.

The party would fight for the right of all couples to get married and receive all protections stipulated in the Civil Code, he said.

After formally taking up the post on March 1, Chiu said he would set up an election strategy committee to review legislative candidates for the nation’s 73 first-past-the-post constituencies, Chiu said.

Huang would continue to play an essential role in the party’s fundraising events and has promised to help scout legislative candidates, Chiu said.

The biggest problem Chiu faces is a lack of funds, he said, adding that he still works as a pro bono lawyer.

He said he hopes that party members could work together at a fundraising event on March 9.

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