Divisions within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have come to the fore again, as the party prepares for the seven-in-one elections next year, with former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) warning that it could turn away public support.
Lu, who is hoping to represent the DPP in the race for Taipei mayor next year, said the Taipei primary has become a “proxy war” between party heavyweights and could result in a public backlash.
Lu did not name names, but DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) is widely believed to favor lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄), while former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) reportedly supports National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), an independent who currently has the highest support rate among all pan-green aspirants.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
The Taipei primary has become a proxy for a private competition between Su and Tsai for the DPP chairmanship election next year, Lu said.
This maneuvering for personal gain could cost the party dearly, such as the DPP losing in all constituencies in northern and central Taiwan except Yilan County next year, she said.
Lu, who has repeatedly complained of a lack of media coverage of her campaign and the media’s focus on her age, urged DPP headquarters to remain neutral in the primaries.
Meanwhile, the emergence of the New Tide, arguably the most powerful DPP faction, has caught the public’s attention and raised tensions in the party after the group secured a series of primary victories.
Three nominees — Pan Men-an (潘孟安) of Pingtung County, Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) of Changhua County and Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) of Nantou County — are New Tide members, while Lee Ching-yung (李進勇) won the Yunlin County primary with the backing of the New Tide.
In Greater Taichung, Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), another New Tide member, is trying to narrow the gap with Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) before the primary on Dec. 20. In Taipei, the group appears to have thrown its support behind Koo, with many city councilors who are members of the group endorsing the lawyer.
A DPP resolution in 2006 dissolved all party factions, prohibiting them from establishing offices, recruiting members and fundraising. However, the factions did not really disappear, as many continue to operate in the form of think tanks or foundations led by a senior party member.
The New Tide’s string of primary wins and heavy campaigning to assist them by Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) and Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), both New Tide members, could escalate tensions within the party, former DPP legislator Julian Kuo (郭正亮) said yesterday.
Incumbent mayors and commissioners are advised to stay neutral in the primaries to prevent factional tensions, Kuo said.
Former premier Yu Shyi-kun’s victory in the New Taipei City primary, which drew protests of unfairness from New Taipei City (新北市) Chapter director Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), who is close to Tsai Ing-wen, has also been described as a trade-off between Yu and Su in exchange for support of Su’s re-election campaign for the chairperson’s post next year. Yu and Su have denied the rumor.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first