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Third DPP official resigns amid sexual harassment allegations

Resignation of deputy director in party's organizational department implicated in 2018 incident

Taipei City Councilor Ho Meng-Hua discusses an incident that occurred in 2018 in DPP's Youth Development Dept. June 2.

Taipei City Councilor Ho Meng-Hua discusses an incident that occurred in 2018 in DPP's Youth Development Dept. June 2. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — This week, a spate of sexual harassment allegations have implicated Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials in cases of harassment and cover-ups after the fact.

On Friday (June 2) afternoon, a third claim of sexual harassment involving a DPP official was made public, reported UDN. The newest report comes after the resignation of two other party officials in separate cases. Over the course of two days, the DPP has issued two separate statements condemning sexual harassment in the workplace and promising to fully investigate the incidents.

At a press conference on Friday (June 2), DPP Secretary General Hsu Li-ming (許立明) said there are rumors that another DPP official was involved in similar conduct. Hsu said at the press conference the official in question had already been asked to resign.

It was then reported that Lin Nan-ku (林男固), a deputy director of political affairs for the Organizational Department, submitted his resignation to the DPP’s Central Committee Friday afternoon.

Party leaders did not disclose information about Lin’s case or who may have been involved in the incident. However, a Taipei City Councilor, Ho Meng-Hua (何孟樺),who was formerly the director of the party’s Youth Development Department shared a post on Facebook, indicating that the allegations are likely related to incidents that occurred in 2018, while she was heading up the department. Ho also gave a short press conference Friday afternoon.

At the time, a person working in partnership with the Youth Development Department reported being harassed by one of the department leaders. The victim said that the official, allegedly Lin, sent a number of inappropriate and unsolicited messages, and made several unwelcome phone calls late at night.

Ho explained that the case should have been reported to the Central Committee for review and investigation, per CNA. However, an official in the Women’s Affairs Department explained that the incident would receive widespread media attention if the review process were initiated.

Ho and the victim did not want to draw media attention to the incident, and the party hoped to settle the issue in a pragmatic manner, so it was agreed not to report Lin’s behavior to the Central Committee. Instead, the victim was asked to transfer to a different department, rather than Lin facing any consequences, which angered both Ho and the victim.

The case was one of the reasons that Ho left her position with the Youth Development Department. Although she could not be certain what other incidents Lin may have been involved in, she was confident the 2018 incident is related to his resignation.

As for the victim, Ho said that after the incident, the woman left the party to work in the private sector. Ho also asked the media and the public to stop trying to expose the victim and to respect their privacy, per UDN.