DPP introduces rules on candidates accused of academic misconduct

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday passed rules on the academic integrity of party members registering for primaries ahead of the 2024 presidential and legislative elections, requiring them to sign a declaration stating they did not engage in academic misconduct in writing their thesis, and accepting strict punishment if they are later found to have lied.

The DPP Central Executive Committee held a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss ways to improve its nomination process for fielding candidates in the elections scheduled for January 2024.

As accusations of plagiarism dogged several candidates in the 2022 local elections and became a point of contention, the party will in the future ask members registering to take part in primaries to sign a declaration stating that their theses met the terms of academic ethics, so as to restore public trust and improve the party's nomination process, according to a motion passed during the meeting.

Under the new mechanism approved at the meeting, DPP members will sign a declaration stating they did not engage in plagiarism, falsification or ghostwriting when writing their thesis, DPP Secretary-General Hsu Li-ming (???) said.

However, if a candidate fails the thesis standards employed by their alma mater after being checked for plagiarism, they will still be allowed to compete in the primary as long as they do not register the problematic degree as part of their personal information filed with the Central Election Commission if they win the primary.

"The DPP was not the only political party with members facing questions regarding the originality of their theses and the acquisition of their academic degrees, but the DPP, as the ruling party, is willing to set an example by being the first political party to propose a solution…," DPP Chairman Lai Ching-te (???) said.

He also called on other political parties to follow suit and adopt measures designed to prevent similar controversies in the 2024 elections.

Former Hsinchu mayor Lin Chih-chien (???), the DPP's original Taoyuan mayoral candidate in November 2022, was forced to withdraw from the race after National Taiwan University (NTU) determined he plagiarized his thesis, which the university revoked with his master's degree at the NTU Graduate Institute of National Development.

The incident is considered to have contributed to the DPP's defeat in the 2022 local elections.

Asked by reporters whether the DPP will be unable to regulate members who plagiarize their theses if they do not list the relevant degrees, Lai said if members do not register problematic degrees when registering for primaries the party has no way of addressing the issue.

On Dec. 2 then Democratic Progressive Party Mayor of Taoyuan Cheng Wen-tsan (???) had his thesis revoked by National Taiwan University for plagiarism. After completing his term in office in late December, Chen was appointed to the position of deputy premier in the cabinet of new Premier Chen Chien-jen (???) in late January.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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