TAIPEI (CNA) — The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) newly appointed secretary-general Lo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) said Wednesday that the results of the recent local government elections reflected unmet public expectations and that the party should keep working to improve.

On his first day in office, Lo urged party members to soldier on and said the staff at the DPP’s central headquarters should be mentally prepared for the next year.

“It’s going to be another setback” if the DPP and its decision-makers do not recognize the implications of the party’s drubbing in the Nov. 24 local government elections last year, he said.

“This is a combat team, not a place to retire and goof off,” Lo said, referring to the party’s central executive.

The first activity on Lo’s schedule as the DPP’s newly appointed secretary-general was to attend the closing ceremony of an internship program, which was organized by the party’s Department of Youth Development and streamed live online.

Asked at the event how the DPP planned to regain people’s trust after its widespread defeat in the local government elections, Lo said it must engage in self-reflection and improve its performance.

The people were dissatisfied with the previous Kuomintang administration and hoped that the new DPP leaders would bring about change but the results of the 2018 local elections showed that the public’s expectations were not met, Lo said.

He said the party is still disorganized has not yet figured out the solutions to its problems. Closed-door sit-downs would not solve those problems, Lo added.

Commenting on his own experience, Lo said he“accidentally entered” into politics 30 years ago, at a time when young people were encouraged to participate in public affairs.

While there are still such opportunities today, people tend to flaunt their seniority and judge young people’s abilities, he said.

Young people, therefore, have to be prepared to work hard and show the skeptics that “although they are young, they can do well,” Lo said.

Lo previously served as an aide to former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), a legislator, and head of the Hakka Affairs Council during the previous DPP administration 2000-2008.

By Yeh Su-ping and Chung Yu-chen