DPP expels five Tainan City councilors

By Enru Lin ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday expelled five Tainan City councilors for not voting along the party line in last week’s speaker election. ��Some party members have abandoned their ideals for personal gain. We once again express our deepest apologies to the people,�� DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (���^��) said at a press conference in the party’s central headquarters in Taipei. She said their expulsion is permanent if the judicial system confirms allegations that councilors sold their votes. ��If the judiciary confirms that these comrades did in fact accept bribes, after they are expelled from the party they will never be admitted again,�� Tsai said. Last week in Greater Tainan, KMT council speaker candidate Lee Chuan-chiao (������) had defeated DPP nominee Lai Mei-hui (�����f) despite a pan-green advantage in council seats. The ballot count indicated that two DPP councilors had spoiled their ballot and three voted for the KMT bid.

Five Out, Two In The DPP’s Central Review Committee held a six-hour hearing yesterday in Greater Tainan to rule on seven DPP councilors. The 11-member committee found five Tainan City councilors guilty of defying a caucus resolution on ��consistent voting.�� They are Chen Chao-lai (���¨�), Tseng Wang Ya-yun (��������), Tsai Chiu-lan(������), Liang Shun-fa (�綶�o) and Chuang Yu-chu (���ɯ]). A sixth Tainan City councilor, Chiu Li-li (������), was found not guilty of violating the caucus resolution and not penalized, though the committee said she harmed party harmony. Chiu had been referred to the Central Review Committee for criticizing a party-nominated ballot moderator. Also yesterday, the Central Review Committee ruled to suspend the intra-party rights of Greater Kaohsiung Councilor Lin Wan-jung (�L�{�T) for three years. Newly elected Greater Kaohsiung city council speaker Kang Yu-cheng (�d�Φ�) defended Lin yesterday at the hearing, arguing that the councilor voted for the KMT candidate in error.

Vote-buying Probes Underway Prosecutors in Tainan said yesterday that they are seeking to invalidate the city council victory over suspicion of vote-buying. In Taipei, Tsai said the DPP headquarters is set to launch its own investigation on vote-buying in the local elections.

Wu Yi-chen for Miaoli Also yesterday, the DPP Central Standing Committee formally voted to endorse DPP Legislator-at-large Wu Yi-chen (�d�y��) as its candidate for the Miaoli County legislative by-election in electoral district two. The DPP had previously ruled not to field its own candidate for the Feb. 7 race in order to support independent candidate Chen Wei-ting (������). Chen withdrew from the race last week, following controversy over his admission of sexually harassing two women while an undergraduate student.

Tsai to Attend

Keelung Flag-raising At the DPP headquarters, Tsai said she hopes to spend New Year’s Eve at home and will attend the flag-raising ceremony in Keelung today.