The New Power Party (NPP) on Saturday suspended party chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) over his alleged involvement in a bribery case.
The NPP made the decision after the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Saturday afternoon filed a motion with the Taipei District Court to detain Hsu, along with legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇), an independent, over their alleged involvement in a department store bribery case.
The NPP said it has appointed caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) as acting chairman until an intra-party election for chairperson is held early next year.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Chiu was NPP chairman from March to August last year.
In response to Hsu’s alleged involvement in the corruption case during his tenure as an NPP legislator from 2016 to this year, Chiu apologized to the public and NPP supporters on behalf of the party, saying that as acting chairman, his most important tasks are to regain public trust, reflect on old mistakes and guide the party forward.
The NPP has “zero tolerance” for corruption, he said, adding that he was thankful for the investigation, as it has given the party an opportunity to improve.
Chiu said he would improve the party’s mechanisms to detect and fight corruption, and would present more details about how to achieve those goals in two weeks.
As to whether Hsu would be stripped of his party membership, Chiu said that its disciplinary committee was following party regulations in suspending Hsu’s chairman position for the moment.
While there are only 11 members left on the party’s decisionmaking committee, Chiu said he would propose that they resign and be replaced with new candidates to break fresh ground.
Chiu said that he stepped down as chairman in August last year to take responsibility for failing to form a consistent political line among party members, and now that he has been entrusted with the role again, he would do the necessary work to achieve that goal.
The NPP gives young people with no political backgrounds a chance to enter politics, and it balances power by keeping other parties in check, Chiu said.
Former NPP legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), who is close with Hsu, wrote on Facebook that integrity and opposition to corruption have always been the party’s fundamental values, calling on the authorities to conduct a thorough probe.
Huang said he agreed with the party’s disciplinary action against Hsu, adding that he believes the party would live up to supporters’ expectations.
Meanwhile, NPP Secretary-General Chen Hui-min (陳志明) yesterday wrote on Facebook that “the reason Hsu was involved in the corruption case this time is because the party is unable to pay salaries, so he borrowed money to do it.”
He deleted the post shortly after it was posted.
It is not the first time the party has faced financial problems, he said, citing the 2018 nine-in-one elections, when the party also had to borrow money.
Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui
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