Chen to blame for DPP downfall, say young members of the party
Outgoing Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian came under fire yesterday from a group of young members of the Democratic Progressive Party, who held him responsible for its downfall.
Mr Chen 'must take the biggest share of the responsibility', said Tuan Yi-kang, a former DPP legislator.
The party was drubbed in legislative elections in January and the recent presidential poll.
The former head of the disbanded New Tide faction, a major DPP clique, said that when the DPP was the ruling party, its leaders failed to make the Taiwan-centric concept an important national goal; instead, they turned it into a political tool in the struggle for power.
Mr Tuan said the move had backfired, as was evident by the DPP's losses. The party suffered its worst election defeat in the January 12 elections, winning just 27 of the 113 legislative seats, compared with the Kuomintang's absolute control with 81 seats.
In the March 22 presidential poll, DPP candidate Frank Hsieh Chang-ting lost to Ma Ying-jeou by more than 2 million votes, allowing the KMT to return to power after losing to Mr Chen in 2000 and 2004.
Speaking at a news conference attended by a group of younger DPP members, including former legislator Hsiao Bi-khim, Mr Tuan said that as Mr Chen was in power for eight years, he was responsible for the collective degeneration of the DPP.
He said it was not a witch-hunt against any individuals, but he and other younger DPP members thought there was a dire need for the party to review itself to pave the way for a comeback. He said the party must restore its clean image, work hard and adhere to its Taiwan-centric road to win back public trust.
Meanwhile, the DPP decided to invite party members and members of various social sectors to take part in three rallies for self-reflection and soul-searching. DPP Secretary- General Lee Ying-yuan said conclusions reached at the three conferences, to be held in northern, central and southern Taiwan, would be sent to party authorities for adoption.