Disaffected DPP members call for new 'Taiwan-first' party to 'split the vote' in 2020

Rallying to call of independence activist Huang Hua, faction considers campaigning for Legislative Yuan seats

File Photo: DPP Chair Cho Jung-tai and Sec.-Gen. to the President Chen Chu, meet Huang Hua, June 20

File Photo: DPP Chair Cho Jung-tai and Sec.-Gen. to the President Chen Chu, meet Huang Hua, June 20 (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Disaffected and former members of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan are calling for the formation of a new “Taiwan-first” political party in the wake of William Lai’s defeat in the DPP presidential primary in June.

Organizing around independence activist Huang Hua (黃華), whose hunger strike is nearing its 50th day, the small group of politicians and academics believes that the DPP has strayed from its mission and its original values.

The faction, which met after Huang Hua issued a call in the first days of his hunger strike, is still considering how to organize a new political force, with an aim of securing seats in the Legislative Yuan.

According to Taiwan People News, many within the faction are looking to the leadership of Tsay Ting-Gui (蔡丁貴), a professor at Taipei National University, and a staunch independence activist. Following the success of the Kuomintang (KMT) in 2018’s municipal elections over the DPP, Tsay put forth his plan for a new “Taiwan Grass-roots Alliance”(在野台派聯盟企劃書).

Tsay believes now is the opportune time to create a third major party in Taiwan by uniting unaligned and centrist voters with the disaffected faction of the DPP to create a viable third political force in Taiwanese politics. In the long-term, such a “Grand New Party” in a tripartite political arrangement with the KMT and the DPP, would tip the scales in favor of Taiwanese independence, claims Tsay.

While the faction remains divided over whether or not to field a presidential candidate and “split the vote” against Tsai Ing-wen, there appears to be a growing consensus that if they successfully organize any viable campaigns, they should only contest seats in the Legislative Yuan for the 2020 election.

Tsay reasons that voting for Tsai in the presidential race will at least help ensure that the president's office will not be handed to the KMT nominee.