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September 26, 2017

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Key DPP members position themselves for committee election

The National Party Congress (全民代表大會) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will convene tomorrow to elect 30 members on the Central Executive Committee. Afterward, 10 Central Standing Committee (中常會) members will be selected from the Central Executive Committee (中執會), forming the core of the DPP's decision-making body along with the party's legislative caucus, mayors and magistrates.

According to an expert on the DPP, 12 members will essentially be competing for 10 slots on the Central Standing Committee. The New Tide Faction (新潮流) will be represented by Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青), while Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) will be lending her support to former Interior Minister Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲); however, there is also a good chance that she will cooperate with the New Tide Faction to see if they can get Kaohsiung City Deputy Mayor Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) re-elected to the committee.

The expert also said that DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has at least two seats in his pocket. Members of the DPP claim that Su will arrange for his protege Tsai Hsien-hao (蔡憲浩) to remain on the Central Standing Committee, and that the chairman may also throw his support behind former Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮). A DPP member close to Su also said that the chairman will strive for cooperation with various factions in the party.

According to local reports, former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) hopes to win a seat for himself and another for his protege Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), while former Premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) will partner up with Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) to vie for two seats on the committee.

Former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), however, has not recommended anyone for the committee election.

The National Party Congress will also discuss tomorrow whether or not to re-establish township- and city-level party headquarters, as well as whether or not to allow party members to participate (via voting) in the nominations of party candidates for governmental positions. These proposals will then be submitted to the Central Executive Committee for deliberation.

Political commentators have speculated that the proposals are essentially maneuvers designed to prevent Tsai from running for president on the party's behalf. The former presidential candidate was nominated via nationwide polls conducted by the party, rather than direct voting from DPP members.

A DPP member said that the re-establishment of township- and city-level party headquarters will consolidate political leverage on local levels, allowing Chairman Su to garner support from the party's grassroots members.

The proposals will not be voted on tomorrow, the party member added, saying that they will be submitted to the Central Executive Committee first for deliberation instead; afterward, the proposals may or may not be voted on during the National Party Congress' next meeting.

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