Taiwan’s New Power Party picks new leader

NPP shaken by defections and internal disputes about political line

NPP lawmaker Hsu Yung-ming.

NPP lawmaker Hsu Yung-ming. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The New Power Party (NPP) announced Wednesday (August 21) it had chosen one of its three remaining lawmakers, political scientist Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), as its new chairman to stem an internal crisis.

Earlier this month, two of its highest-profile legislators, rock star Freddy Lim (林昶佐) and Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸), left the party to seat as independents amid a dispute about the relationship between the NPP and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The crisis escalated when the group’s chairman, Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智), took responsibility for the crisis by resigning.

In the end, Hsu, 53, who had served as the head of the NPP’s legislative caucus, decided to accept an offer to lead the party, the Central News Agency reported. The NPP originated in the 2014 Sunflower movement which occupied the Legislative Yuan in protest against a planned trade agreement with China.

Hsu received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan and was a frequent guest on television talk shows before joining the NPP.

Another crisis facing the young party has been a series of allegations of corruption against another of its lawmakers, Kawlo Iyun Pacidal. However, due to the electoral system, if she is expelled, the NPP can replace her with another member.