The New Power Party’s (NPP) decisionmaking committee yesterday elected former NPP secretary-general Kao Yu-ting (高鈺婷) as chairwoman.
Former committee members earlier this month jointly stepped down after former NPP chairman Hsu Yung-ming’s (徐永明) alleged involvement in a bribery scandal related to an ownership dispute over the Pacific Sogo Department Store chain was made public.
Hsu, who served as a legislator from February 2016 to January, was on Aug. 3 suspended from heading the party after the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office filed a motion to detain him in connection with the case.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
In Friday’s decisionmaking committee election, Kao garnered the second-highest number of votes — 1,018 — trailing only Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭), who received 1,071 votes.
The new 15-member committee yesterday elected Kao chairwoman, the NPP said, adding that the next party chairperson and committee elections are to be held on Feb. 28 next year.
A former engineer at the Industrial Technology Research Institute, Kao represented the NPP in this year’s legislative election in Hsinchu City, but came in third behind candidates of Taiwan’s two major parties, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party, with 29 percent of the vote.
In the past few weeks, the NPP has seen the departure of a number of party members, including Taipei city councilors Huang Yu-fen (黃郁芬) and Lin Ying-meng (林穎孟), Miaoli County Councilor Tseng Wen-hsueh (曾玟學) and Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Chieh (黃捷).
Kao yesterday in her first statement as chairwoman said it was regrettable that the party has lost members and support in the wake of the Sogo scandal, but it would continue to offer solutions to the nation’s problems.
“The NPP is a party that is not afraid to reflect on itself and engage in reforms,” she said, adding that it would work toward reinventing itself in the next six months.
An NPP member, commenting on condition of anonymity, said that the recent departures underscored the party’s problems, adding that the NPP lacks direction.
While Kao has the support of Legislator Chiu Hsieh-chih (邱顯智), she does not have the seniority enjoyed by Hsu or former NPP chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), the party member said, adding that time would tell if Kao can garner widespread support.
Additional reporting by CNA
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