‘UPHOLD DEMOCRACY’: Tainan City Councilor Lin Yi-ching said that the primary should not be arbitrarily scrapped, as a possible backlash may harm party unity
By Yang Chun-hui, Lin Yi-chang and Hung Jui-chin / Staff reporters
While some supporters of President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） within the Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） are drafting a motion calling for its presidential primary to be scrapped, others — who also support Tsai’s re-election bid — expressed concern that doing so might provoke anger among grassroots supporters.
Proponents of the motion plan to tender it on Wednesday next week during the weekly DPP Central Standing Committee meeting as a “last-ditch” bid to ensure Tsai secures the party’s nomination.
Apart from scrapping the party’s primary, the motion, dubbed an “overriding clause,” would reportedly “solicit” former premier William Lai （賴清德） to be Tsai’s running mate.
Lai on March 18 registered for the primary and Tsai registered three days later after in February stating her intention to seek a second term.
There is a group of party members who think Tsai should lobby DPP factions that are ambivalent over the plan to scrap the primary, sources said, adding that yesterday they sent messengers to former premier Yu Shyi-kun, who is visiting Japan.
However, others within the party who also support Tsai said that the democratic system should be followed.
Tainan City Councilor Lin Yi-ching （林宜瑾）, a supporter of Lai, said that the primary should not be arbitrarily scrapped, as it could spark a huge backlash that would negatively affect Tsai and party unity.
Although this is the first time a DPP president has faced a challenger from within the party, it should stick to its time-honored primary rules and refrain from using other methods that could favor Tsai, Lin said.
The party’s mediation team has met with Tsai and Lai separately, but the two have not reached any consensus on the primary, sources said.
Separately yesterday, Sunflower movement leader Lin Fei-fan （林飛帆） expressed his support for Tsai, but said that scrapping the primary would be counterproductive for the president.
The insecurity of Tsai’s close aides would put her in a difficult spot and waste her newfound popularity, he said.
Additional reporting by Su Fun-her
The Democratic Progressive Party’s logo and name are displayed at the party’s headquarters in Taipei on June 7, 2017. Photo: Su Fun-her, Taipei Times