Columnist claims AIT concerned about DPP’s primary process

The U.S. is allegedly concerned about whether the party will follow the democratic process and allow a vote to decide who will be the presidential election candidate

Protesters rally outside DPP headquarters on May 22, 2019.

Protesters rally outside DPP headquarters on May 22, 2019. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- At the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) meeting on Wednesday (May 22), an unidentified protester outside DPP headquarters claimed the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto U.S. embassy, is concerned about the party’s indecisive nomination process for the 2020 presidential election.

According to Up Media, columnist Yang Sen-hong (楊憲宏) confirmed the AIT had been in contact with the DPP and additionally consulted other opinion leaders on the matter. DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰), however, denied holding meetings with or being contacted by the AIT.

Chairwoman of the Taiwan Teachers Union (臺灣教師聯盟) Hsiao Hsiao-ling (蕭曉玲), who was at the rally, also claimed there had been talks between the AIT and DPP, but added her source was Yang. Hsiao added that when she spoke to Cho and DPP Party Secretary Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) and mentioned AIT reaching out to the party, neither Cho nor Luo denied it.

Yang told Up Media the U.S. always paid attention to Taiwan politically, and rumors concerning the DPP not holding a primary vote were worrying. “The United States questions whether [withholding a primary vote] is part of the democratic process.”

Yang said he was one of the people AIT consulted on May 17 about the DPP’s primary election. He added the AIT’s inquiries had an effect on the DPP, as well as Cho’s attitude towards the matter.

Yang declined to disclose how senior the AIT individual who approached him was.