New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) on Tuesday said that he would support his legislative office director, Lai Chia-lun (賴嘉倫), if he decides to run for legislator, following speculation that Lai could replace him as the party’s candidate in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止).
“Lai is the best in my office, perhaps better than most incumbent legislators in terms of his ability to draft bills, conduct interpellations and fight corruption,” Huang said on his Facebook fan group page.
If Lai decides to run, “I would of course support him,” Huang wrote.
As for his personal plans, Huang said he has promised voters to be a legislator for four years and he takes his responsibility seriously.
Asked about the rumors that he would run for office, Lai yesterday said that he would formally respond at a news conference on Tuesday next week.
Records on the Control Yuan Web site show that Lai on Monday applied to set up an account at the Bank of Taiwan’s Sijhih branch to receive political donations as a legislative candidate. The application has already been approved.
NPP member Chen Yu-fan (陳雨凡), who is running for the Xinyi-Songshan legislative seat, said on Facebook on Tuesday night that Huang was causing confusion in the party by not announcing his plans sooner.
With the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections just 150 days away, the NPP has yet to decide whether to support President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) re-election bid and collaborate with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to pool votes in the legislative elections, Chen said.
“This is because members respect Huang too much, to the point that they keep waiting for him to decide whether to run for re-election in Sijhih,” she said. “Huang should accept responsibility for the way things have turned out.”
By delaying decisions on key issues, party members have undermined the NPP’s democratic procedures, she said.
If the party’s decisionmaking committee would rather run the risk of helping the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) win seats in the legislature than collaborate with the DPP, it should make its stance known, she said.
In that case, “I would make a decision about whether to leave the party,” she added.