Next month’s referendums would determine the direction of Taiwan’s development, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday at its National Congress.
As the Dec. 18 poll approaches, the party convened its congress to affirm its opposition to all four referendum questions and urge the public to “lend a hand” in stabilizing the nation’s direction.
On the ballot are to be proposals calling for a ban on the importation of pork containing the leanness-enhancing additive ractopamine, the activation of the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, the relocation of a planned liquefied natural gas terminal from Datan Borough (大潭) in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) and for referendums to be held alongside elections.
Protecting the nation’s sovereignty and safeguarding freedom and democracy have always been the party’s guiding values, which it has firmly upheld since taking office in 2016, the DPP said.
Even when challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and diplomatic interference, the government has remained steadfast in its beliefs and slowly, but surely strengthened the nation, it said.
“As the world recognizes Taiwan, we must strive to align ourselves with the world” by joining regional trade groups, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the DPP added.
In her capacity as DPP chairperson, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said the theme of this year’s congress, “Stable Governance, Powerful Taiwan,” is precisely the mission bestowed on the party at this juncture.
The DPP turned 35 this year, an age full of passion, but with enough experience to take on large responsibilities, she said.
As people do not owe the DPP anything, the party must do its best to prove it is worthy of their trust and confidence, she added.
The congress also approved a proposal by the party’s Central Executive Committee to forgo primaries for next year’s local elections, except for cities or counties that have been governed continuously by DPP incumbents for two terms.
According to the rule, which is to apply only to next year’s local elections, Tsai is to nominate mayoral candidates for the six special municipalities, while the committee is to vote on their confirmation.
Incumbent DPP mayors and county commissioners who seek re-election must also be approved by Tsai and confirmed by the committee.
Party hopefuls making a bid to unseat a non-DPP mayor or commissioner would be nominated by Tsai and determined in closed-door negotiations, it said.
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