Tue, Jan 21, 2020 - Page 3 News List

A-bian’s TAPA starts dissolution

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

A Taiwan Action Party Alliance banner hangs in Nantou County on Nov. 23 last year.

Photo: Hsieh Chieh-yu,Taipei Times

The Taiwan Action Party Alliance (TAPA) yesterday announced that it has begun the dissolution process.

The decision followed the announcement on Jan. 12 by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the party’s spiritual head, that he was withdrawing from politics.

TAPA failed to win any seats in Jan. 11’s legislative elections. It received 143,617 votes, or 1.01 percent of the party vote.

Under election regulations, only parties that garner at least 3 percent of the party vote are entitled to government funding; and only those that receive 5 percent of the vote can obtain legislator-at-large seats.

TAPA said in a statement on Facebook that its members on Sunday reached a decision to dissolve the party, as outlined by its own rules.

From yesterday, the party ceased accepting membership fees and donations, it said.

To finalize dissolution, a task force has been formed to handle its accounting and registrations, as well as other work, the party said.

“We would like to pay our highest respect to our supporters, as well as express our most sincere gratitude and apologies to them,” it said.

Party members would continue to work for Taiwan with the same spirit, it added.

TAPA was founded in August last year and has advocated Chen’s stance of “one country on each side” of the Taiwan Strait.

The party nominated Chen as one of its legislator-at-large candidates, but the Central Election Commission disqualified his listing, citing the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), which prohibits people who have been convicted of corruption from registering as a candidate.

Chen was sentenced to 20 years in prison on a series of corruption charges and is on medical parole.

“As the ‘gardener’ of TAPA, I feel deeply ashamed to have allowed this little tree to wither,” Chen said on Jan. 12.

After spending a night engaged in deep reflection, he decided that he could no longer contribute to the party or Taiwan, he said.

“From this day on, I would withdraw from politics. Thank you and good bye,” he said.

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