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Political party associated with Chen Shui-bian disbanded

ROC Central News Agency

01/20/2020 06:40 PM

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) The Taiwan Action Party Alliance (TAPA), a party established in August 2019 that had former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) as its spiritual leader, announced its disbanding on Monday.

The TAPA announced its disbanding on its Facebook page after Chen, commonly known as A-bian, declared his withdrawal from politics on Jan. 12, following the party's resounding defeat at the legislative polls held alongside the presidential election a day earlier.

The disbanding of the party was agreed upon during a Sunday meeting at which it was also decided that party assets will be disposed of and party fees or political donations no longer collected.

Meanwhile, a team has been organized to handle the details of the party's dissolution.

On Jan. 12, Chen announced that he was withdrawing from politics and bid farewell to his supporters following the TAPA's failure at the legislative polls.

The party failed to win any seats in the 113-member Legislative Yuan, with a mere 1.02 percent of the vote.

In a video shown at the launch of the party on Aug. 18, 2019, Chen said he believed the TAPA could secure one million votes in the legislative election and win at least three seats or surpass the 5 percent threshold required for legislator-at-large seats.

The TAPA was created with the backing of core supporters of Taiwan independence. Yang Chyi-wen (楊其文), a former president of National Taipei University of the Arts, serves as its convener.

The party advocates for building Taiwan into a sovereign and independent country and seeking Taiwan's entry into the United Nations.

Chen was embroiled in corruption scandals stemming from his time as president that led to several indictments and a 20-year prison sentence.

He was in prison until January 2015, when he was released on medical parole for reasons of declining health.

Critics contend that Chen has repeatedly violated the terms of his release, including the so-called "Four Noes" imposed on him by Taichung Prison as part of his medical parole: no on-stage appearances, no speeches, no political expression, and no interviews with the media.

Taichung Prison, however, has not formally punished the former president for any transgression, even as Chen has criticized it for the restrictions placed on his public speaking and attendance at public events.

On Nov. 5, 2019, Chen had his medical parole extended to Feb. 4, 2020, the 20th time he has received an extension to stay out of prison for medical reasons.

(By Flor Wang and Yeh Su-ping)


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