Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) hopes the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), of which he is chairman, does not become “bogged down” in the pro-independence or pro-unification debate, he said yesterday.
Ko made the remark at the beginning of a two-day camp the party hosted for its members.
The party should not “get too bogged down” in the independence versus unification debate and should instead find an alternative centerpiece issue different from those of the pan-blue or pan-green camps, he said.
The TPP also held an interim convention for its party representatives, during which a proposal was passed to charge its members an annual fee, which would begin next month at the earliest.
The convention was scheduled to start at 1pm, but almost adjourned due to a lack of a quorum, as fewer than 56 of the party’s 111 representatives were at the opening.
The meeting began about 40 minutes later, after members gradually arrived and the number of attending representatives finally met the quorum requirement.
During its national convention last year, party members proposed that it should charge a membership fee, but the Ministry of the Interior informed them that the party must first amend its charter before charging fees, Ko said.
TPP spokesperson Chang Ching-chun (張清俊) said the party would charge an annual membership fee of NT$500 or NT$10,000 for a lifetime membership.
When asked if he was concerned that the fees might drive some members to leave the party, Ko said that a political party needs money for its operations, and “it is impossible for us to be ‘celestial beings and not need to eat food,’” so the party passed the amendment to complete the legal requirement.
Ko said that the party’s five legislators-at-large have performed outstandingly, but their duties in local organizational efforts should be reduced to accommodate their legislative work.
The party charter should be amended to specify and regulate party members’ operational duties, he added.
Additional reporting by CNA
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