A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) panel yesterday approved imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) application to rejoin the party, ending a longstanding dispute among party members.
DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), the convener of the five-member panel, announced the decision and reiterated that the DPP supported Chen’s medical, judicial and human rights regardless of his membership status.
The panel also included Central Standing Committee member Tsai Hsien-hao (蔡憲浩) and legislators Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) and Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康).
Chen Shui-bian, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for corruption, left the party in August 2008 amid growing controversy over a corruption investigation.
No DPP regulation prohibits Chen Shui-bian from applying for membership five years after his withdrawal, the party said.
The office of the former president and his son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), both expressed their appreciation at the decision.
While some politicians opposed Chen Shui-bian rejoining the party, including former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), most did not see the former president doing major damage to the DPP, since the former president would not be able to hold any post or participate in elections for public office because of his corruption conviction.
In related news, the DPP’s Central Executive Committee yesterday finalized and approved its nomination process for next year’s seven-in-one local elections, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.
Incumbent mayors and commissioners who are interested in seeking re-election would win automatic nominations, Lin said.
DPP headquarters will conduct negotiations in those constituencies with two or more aspirants if private negotiations between them fail, Lin added.
If all attempts at negotiation fail, public opinion polls will be held to determine the final candidate in those constituencies.
For those constituencies where no DPP members are interested in running, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) or a panel will recruit candidates, Lin said.