A senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politician threatened to quit the party yesterday after a clash over the legislative nominees in Greater Tainan.
Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟), a former Presidential Office secretary---general, called it “political manipulation” that Greater Tainan Councilor Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) had yet to receive the nomination in the special municipality’s fifth district despite winning the primary more than two months ago.
Although accused of misusing and illegally taking Typhoon Morakot donations, Wang was later cleared by a DPP disciplinary committee of all charges. He has called the accusations slander spread by his defeated opponent, incumbent Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅).
However, the committee, still suspended Wang and Lee for six months and two months respectively, saying their spat had damaged the party’s public image.
Chen, a vocal supporter of Wang who said the two jointly raised the funds to send to typhoon victims, told the Central News Agency that the suspension was part of a plan to “take Wang out.”
As the DPP plans to complete the nomination process before the end of next month at the latest, Wang would be forced to drop out despite winning the primaries, Chen said.
DPP spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said the party had already dispatched officials to speak with Chen Shih-meng in an attempt to resolve the issue.
There is speculation that the party could instead nominate Mark Chen (陳唐山), a former Tainan County commissioner and former minister of foreign affairs to fill the void left by the two sparring politicians.
Mark Chen, who has openly backed Wang in the dispute, has denied the rumors saying it would violate electoral fairness for the winner of the telephone poll primaries to not be nominated.
There is also concern over a backlash from the “One Side, One Country Alliance,” a group of DPP lawmakers to which Wang belongs. The group’s branch director in Tainan described the action taken by the DPP as “outrageous” and said it came at the expense of grassroots opinion in Tainan.