Taiwan’s New Power Party loses another lawmaker

Hung Tzu-yung to follow Freddy Lim as independent

Legislator Hung Tzu-yung (first left) announcing her departure from the NPP.

Legislator Hung Tzu-yung (first left) announcing her departure from the NPP. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Legislator Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸) announced Tuesday (Aug. 13) she was leaving the New Power Party (NPP), adding to the crisis the small group has been facing over the past month.

On Aug. 1, one of its most visible members, rock star Freddy Lim (林昶佐), said he was stepping out of the party to become an independent legislator. The crisis escalated when the party’s chairman, Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智), announced his resignation on Monday (Aug. 12), though on Tuesday party leaders still said they were trying to persuade him to stay on.

Another one of the NPP’s original five legislators, Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, was facing expulsion due to allegations of corruption against an aide. However, due to the electoral system, if she is removed, the NPP can replace her with another member.

Hung, 36, first gained prominence as the sister of a conscript who died due to abuse by officers in 2013, while the NPP originated mainly with the 2014 Sunflower Movement against a trade agreement with China.

She told reporters Tuesday that she felt the party leadership has still not seriously resolved the NPP’s main issue. The differences of opinion mainly focus on whether it should remain close to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on issues like Taiwan Independence, or maintain a more separate profile as a small “third force” in Taiwan politics.

Just like Lim, Hung said she would remain in the Legislative Yuan as an independent, leaving the NPP with just three out of 113 seats. Both lawmakers had already been nominated by the party for re-election in their seats, in Taipei and Taichung respectively, with the DPP promising it would not name rival contenders of its own.