DPP to crack down on straying councilors

By Enru Lin, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters said yesterday that it will discipline councilors in Greater Tainan for voting against the party line in Thursday’s speaker election, possibly by revoking party membership. In Greater Tainan, Kuomintang (KMT) speaker candidate Lee Chuan-chiao (������) scored a 29-26 victory against the DPP bid Lai Mei-hui (�����f), despite a pan-green advantage in city council seats. The election count indicates that five councilors had strayed on the ballot. The DPP party caucus in Greater Tainan reported a list of five councilors, suspected because they failed to display their ballot to the council floor before dropping it in the box. Each of the five has denied the accusation. They are Chen Chao-lai (���¨�), Tseng Wang Ya-yun (��������), Tsai Chiu-lan(������), Liang Shun-fa (�綶�o) and Chuang Yu-chu (���ɯ]). The caucus said a sixth councilor, Chiu Li-li (������), will be reported to the party headquarters for airing critical remarks about a party-nominated poll moderator that led to his replacement. The six councilors will be investigated and disciplined by the Central Review Committee (�����|), announced headquarters spokeswoman Hsu Chia-ching (�}�ΫC) in Taipei yesterday. Where Are My Votes? The DPP’s Lai had been expected to win the speaker seat in Greater Tainan with at least 31 votes from the 57-seat council. In the city council, the DPP has 29 seats, the KMT 16 and the Taiwan Solidarity Union one. There are 11 independents, two of whom are affiliated with the DPP. The election count indicates that two DPP councilors spoiled their ballot and three voted against the party line, the party’s council caucus said. Party Expulsion An Option: HQ In voting against the party’s candidate, a minority of councilors violated a formal caucus resolution, DPP spokeswoman Hsu said in a press conference yesterday in Taipei.

The DPP’s Central Review Committee will investigate and mete out ��the most severe party discipline,�� which includes immediate expulsion from the party, Hsu said. She said that the DPP caucus of the Tainan City Council ruled on Thursday to send suspected councilors to headquarters for investigation. In Greater Kaohsiung, one party member did not comply with a caucus resolution to vote for the party’s candidate, she continued. Once the DPP caucus submits this case to headquarters, the Central Review Committee will initiate a probe within three days, she said. Investigate Vote-Buying, not Flashing The DPP headquarters is also set to ask prosecutors to investigate suspected vote-buying in the Thursday elections. Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Yen Ta-ho’s (�C�j�M) recent crackdown on ��vote-flashing�� – the act of displaying the voted ballot – is misplaced, said DPP spokesperson Huang Di-ying (���ҿo) yesterday. ��Vote-buying is the illegal act that does the most damage to democracy,�� he said.