DPP mulls expanding China Affairs Committee’s size

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, May 09, 2013 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said that it would try to be more inclusive in the makeup of its much-anticipated China Affairs Committee (CAC) by adding more members so that discussions over the party’s China policy would be more thorough.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told reporters after a Central Executive Committee meeting that he “has never had a doubt about increasing participation in the committee.”

Legislators, mayors and commissioners of DPP-governed cities and counties, as well as representatives from civic groups, may all be included in the committee, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

However, a proposal to expand the committee by making every head of a DPP-governed city a member, initiated by Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) and supported by former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), failed to win consensus and the Central Executive Committee referred the final decision on membership to the CAC when it meets for the first time today.

The nine CAC members at present are: Su, who will be the convener, Tsai Ing-wen, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), former premier Yu Shyi-kun, DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), former National Security Council secretary-general Chiu I-jen (邱義仁) and Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁), a former DPP secretary-general.

In other developments, the party has finished amending its regulations on party membership and election nominations.

Plagued by controversies about the alleged involvement of gang members in the party, the DPP has approved an “anti-gangster clause” that prohibits anyone with a criminal record in organized crime, drugs or who has violated the Statute Governing the Control Over Guns, Ammunition, Knives and Weapons (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例) from applying for membership, Lin said.

Only people who have been members for at least two years will be eligible to vote in the party’s primaries, Lin said.

The change was made to neutralize the impact of what some have criticized as the DPP’s habit of “breeding nominal members” to influence party primaries.

As to whether those members of less than two years’ standing could run in party primaries and national elections, Lin said the decision would be made by the Central Standing Committee at a later date.

Proposals related to the nomination process for the seven-in-one elections next year will be discussed and finalized during the party congress at the end of the month, Lin said.

One proposed initiative would determine DPP nominations solely based on the results of public opinion surveys, while the other proposes selecting nominees using a combination of membership votes and public opinion surveys.