Several New Power Party (NPP) members yesterday said they have launched an internal petition urging the party to support President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in next year’s presidential election.
The petition was signed by about a dozen members, including Taipei City councilors Huang Yu-fen (黃郁芬) and Lin Liang-chun (林亮君), Yunlin County Councilor Liao Yu-hsien (廖郁賢), Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Jie (黃捷), and party members Wu Cheng (吳崢) and Hsiao Hsin-cheng (蕭新晟).
Supporting Tsai’s re-election bid would go against a proposal by NPP caucus whip Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) to nominate the party’s own candidate, which was submitted to the party’s decisionmaking committee in June.
While the committee has not yet decided whether the party would nominate its own candidate, it is to hold an extraordinary meeting today to discuss its strategy for next year’s presidential and legislative elections, sources familiar with the matter said.
“We need to support the presidential candidate who can best protect the interests of Taiwanese and promote true reforms,” the petition said, referring to Tsai.
If Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential nominee Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) is elected president, all the work Tsai has done to reform the nation — from her policy to assert Taiwanese sovereignty, realize transitional justice, gradually phase out nuclear energy to ensure marriage equality — could be offset by the reactionary KMT, it said.
“We sincerely hope that Taiwanese who value the nation’s sovereignty, freedom and democracy would prioritize actions to the defend the nation and not waste time debating issues on political affiliation or who has more power,” it added.
The purpose of the petition is to stimulate discussion about the NPP’s stance on the presidential election and seek consensus within the party, Hsiao said.
The NPP must reassure its supporters that it has not changed its commitment to defend the nation’s sovereignty and that “we support Tsai’s re-election bid based on that reason,” he said.
As a member of the decisionmaking committee, he has encouraged fellow members to try to resolve differences through internal channels, but the party has continued to avoid making a final decision even after several committee meetings over the issue, he said.
“The NPP’s relationship with the DPP in the upcoming elections is an elephant in the room that must be addressed,” he added.
Although Tsai’s governance might not be perfect, many of her policies are in line with the NPP’s stance, such as legalizing same-sex marriage, Huang Yu-fen said.
As a KMT win could push Tsai’s reforms back to square one, “there is no doubt we should support Tsai,” she said.
Additional reporting by Peng Wan-hsin and CNA
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