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July 24, 2017

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Ex-DPP chairman supports plan for new political group

TAIPEI -- Former opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung, who withdrew from the party in 2006, is backing a plan for a new political group that will nominate its candidates to run for legislative seats in the 2016 elections, according to the initiator of the plan.

Lin Feng-cheng, a former executive director of the Judicial Reform Foundation, a civic organization, revealed Lin Yi-hsiung's support Monday for his efforts to organize a new political group.

Lin Yi-hsiung will be the key person in helping to organize the planned political group but will not actually take part in the elections, Lin Feng-cheng said.

Lin Yi-hsiung, 72, served as DPP chairman 1998-2000. He is known as a leader in Taiwan's democratization and social movements.

Soon after leading the DPP to win the 2000 presidential election, he resigned from the chairmanship, citing American poet Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken," saying that he preferred to take "the road less traveled by."

In 2006, Lin renounced his DPP membership, expressing dissatisfaction with election activities, which he said had become partisan dogfights that cause national upheaval.

According to an Apple Daily report Tuesday, Lin has maintained interactions with people in the academic sector and civic groups over the years since leaving the political stage.

Disappointed at the DPP's reluctance to deepen democracy in the country, Lin has decided to appear in public in March to contribute his voice on public issues, the report said.

The report also said that the planned political group has drawn the attentions of DPP lawmakers, who are worried that the move will split the nativist vote.

Lin Feng-cheng resigned from his post at the foundation in late 2013 and has since been working to organize the new political group, which he said will advocate its political ideas and preach its national policies, outlooks and directions during the 2016 Legislative election campaign.

"A political party is a group of people who jointly persuade the public (into accepting it) with their ideas," Lin said, noting that under this concept, the individuals who make up the party membership are unimportant.

Because the DPP has never been seen to launch reforms spontaneously, he went on, he expressed hope that his efforts to form the new political group will allow politicians with ideals to have chance of engaging in political reforms.

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