TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan People's Party (TPP), which emerged as the country's third-largest political party following January's legislative elections, was able to stay afloat Sunday (Aug. 2) after half of its members attended its first annual assembly.
Formally established on Aug. 6 of last year, the TPP held its first party conference Sunday afternoon at National Taiwan Sport University in Taoyuan. Since the Political Parties Act states that each party is required to hold a conference every two years attended by more than half of its active members, TPP leaders had prior to the assembly expressed concerns over the risk of "self-disbandment," reported CNA.
After TPP Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) released a video urging all members to attend the conference, 5,141 showed up, nearly two-thirds of the party's total 8,068 members. TPP spokesperson Tsai Chun-wei (蔡峻維) told the media that over 10,000 individuals had applied for party membership, but only 8,068 had provided sufficient and accurate enough information to qualify.
During his opening remarks Sunday, Ko stressed that it is time for Taiwan to experience a second "silent revolution" and realize social inclusion as well as national governance. He pointed out that the first revolution was the democratization process initiated by former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who passed away Thursday (July 30) at the age of 97.
Ko said the country had been ruined by the constant clashes between the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its main opposition, the Kuomintang (KMT), leaving no space for smaller parties to voice their opinions. He expects his TPP to serve as a model for other parties at the Legislative Yuan and "replace confrontation with cooperation."
Meanwhile, Ko expressed gratitude to party staff and all his supporters for continuing to believe in the TPP. He said it's important for Taiwan to ensure voters have an alternative to the two major parties, reported UDN.
TPP members hold banner at party's first annual members' assembly Sunday. (CNA photo)