Former New Power Party (NPP) legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) on Thursday announced that he had filed the necessary documents to join the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), which is set to nominate him as a legislator-at-large candidate.
Huang announced his decision in a letter to his colleagues at the Taiwan Anti-corruption and Whistleblower Protection Association, which he cofounded, saying he identifies with Ko’s vision of forming Taiwan’s first coalition government.
Huang and TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) appeared on Thursday night on a livestreamed program hosted by influencer Holger Chen (陳之漢), during which Ko said he would like to recruit Huang and put him on the TPP’s list of legislator-at-large nominees, to be unveiled tomorrow.
Photo: Taipei Times
Ko said he stumped for Huang when he was campaigning for a legislative seat in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止) in 2016.
“He’s the man,” Ko said, praising Huang’s ability to discover corruption in his former capacity as a legislator.
Huang said during the show that he supported the idea of a coalition government as he is against the over-concentration of political power, which he said has been a hallmark of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration over the past seven years.
He said after the student-led Sunflower movement against the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement in 2014 turned into a brutal crackdown on protesters, DPP politicians promised to work to abolish the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) and push through a cross-strait agreement supervisory act, promises that have still not been realized.
“Any administration, DPP or Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), needs effective checks and balances, without which there will be an over-concentration of power, which is what we are witnessing now,” Huang said.
Earlier in the day, the New Power Party, which Huang cofounded, said in a statement that it had received Huang’s application to renounce his membership.
Fellow Sunflower movement leader Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) on Facebook yesterday said he was not surprised by Huang’s decision, “but more than that, I am sad for him.”
“Of course, it is equally inconceivable to me that he would stand with the KMT and TPP in advocating the reopening of the service trade agreement” or supporting the so-called “1992 consensus,” said Lin, who until recently was the DPP deputy secretary-general.
Ko earlier this year proposed restarting talks on the service trade agreement, despite also participating in Sunflower movement protests at the time.
“Protecting Taiwan from Chinese annexation is the reason we came together,” Lin said. “Ten years later, defending Taiwan is still the most important thing.”
Additional reporting by Kayleigh Madjar
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