Although the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has regulations to root out people associated with gangs from the party, in practice there are clearly shortfalls, DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) said on Sunday after a party member was implicated in a narcotics and fraud investigation.
Chao Chieh-yu (趙介佑) was expelled from the party on Saturday after it was alleged that he was involved in drug trafficking, racketeering, assault and kidnapping related to organized crime.
The accusations involve actions Chao allegedly took after joining the DPP in 2014.
Chao’s father, Chao Ying-kuang (趙映光), and aunt, Chao Hsin-yu (趙心瑜), have over the weekend resigned as review committee convener and executive officer of the DPP’s Taipei chapter respectively.
After calling an emergency meeting on Saturday to expel Chao Chieh-yu, Taipei chapter head Enoch Wu (吳怡農) said that the chapter would review and reform its membership process.
The DPP would investigate how Chao Chieh-yu evaded detection, despite the party’s policies to root out criminal involvement in its membership and leadership, Lin said on Sunday in response to media queries.
The issue lies in implementation, he said, adding that the party would invite local chapter heads to discuss how to close loopholes and better implement the policy.
However, taking the case as a reflection of the entire party would be taking things too far, he said.
The DPP must work hard to eliminate all criminal involvement in politics and elections, or it would affect the party’s image and governance, Lin added.
Reached for comment, DPP Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said that as a political party grows, it becomes difficult to prevent different forces from trying to gain positions of influence.
Especially after being in power for a long time, the DPP inevitably carries such baggage and has gradually come to terms with it, he added.
However, it must continue moving forward with the nation, he said, adding that it is time to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the party’s internal structure.
This would include adding more mechanisms to deal with corruption and factionalism, as well as infiltration by “unsavory forces,” he said.
The changes must be made quickly and unsuitable people expelled to meet the public’s expectations and maintain their trust in the party, Lai added.
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