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NPP legislator in west Taiwan county quits party over differences with former chairman

New Power Party loses another member due to dissatisfaction with former leader Huang Kuo-chang

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Miaoli County Councilor Tseng Wen-hsueh quits NPP. (Facebook, Tseng Wen-hsueh photo)

Miaoli County Councilor Tseng Wen-hsueh quits NPP. (Facebook, Tseng Wen-hsueh photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Miaoli County Councilor Tseng Wen-hsueh (曾玟學) announced Sunday (Aug. 23) that he was leaving the New Power Party (NPP) after its former chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) was heard questioning Tseng's abilities in a leaked audio recording.

After NPP leader Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) gave up his party membership over the Sogo bribery case earlier this month, the party said it would hold a primary election to determine the new members of the decision-making committee. However, audio in which Huang suggested Tseng stood no chance of winning the primary without his support was published Sunday by a Facebook user who described the election as rigged and accused Huang of exercising dictatorial authority within the party.

In the leaked audio, Huang was heard bashing Tseng for being full of himself and having delusions about his abilities. He also said Tseng could not possibly win the party primary by himself, reported New Talk.

On Sunday evening, Tseng took to Facebook to announce his decision to quit the party and become an independent. He said he was aware of Huang's influence among NPP members and that he could no longer stand the former chairman's resistance to opposing voices.

Tseng said he had given the NPP his heart and soul and that he was disappointed in the party for abandoning its original ideals. He also expressed hope that it would one day overcome its struggles and become a beacon of hope for young Taiwanese voters, reported CNA.

Upon hearing of Tseng's departure later that evening, Huang said that he was surprised by the news. He said he had not meant to cause internal conflict within the party and emphasized that the audio had been edited to fit the political agenda of "certain parties," reported UDN.

Tseng is not the first member of the NPP to leave within the past year.

Last August, NPP founder Freddy Lim (林昶佐) and former legislator Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸) left the party due to differences of opinion among the members and Huang's unwillingness to back the Democratic Progressive Party's Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in January's presidential election. Since then, eight other members have quit, some of whom have also voiced dissatisfaction with Huang.