2/29 DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen's Farewell Speech

Today is my last Central Standing Committee Meeting as DPP chair, and it is also time for me to bid farewell. Normally, this process comes easily for me, but at this moment, I realize that it is harder than I thought because we have spent so much time in the fight together.

In these past four years, I have transformed from being a scholar and a government official to party chair. Firstly, I would like to offer my deepest gratitude for giving me your embrace, trust, support and encouragement in these past four years. Although I know that sometimes I may have appeared stubborn or more insistent on some issues, I really would like to thank you for tolerating me, especially to my colleagues seated here today, who with even more extensive political experience, have allowed me to engage in my own way of conducting politics. Working with you is a lifetime’s honor and pride.

I would like to once again give my deepest apologies to the Central Standing Committee and to our supporters. It is the greatest regret of my life not being able to lead this party back into power. Recalling my first Central Standing Committee as party chair, I kept reminding myself that no matter what, I had to lead this party into standing back on its feet again. For the last four years, from frustrations and setbacks, we have walked towards the light, and this journey for me is something that I will never forget in my lifetime.
Many times I have said before and I would like to repeat it here today: even if I am no longer the party chair, I will continue to be a lifetime member of the party, standing by the DPP in guarding this piece of land and in pursuing fairness and justice.
I understand that many of you are concerned about my next steps, but in reality, my view towards this is quite simple. Becoming the person that I am today stems from the opportunity granted to me by the public, and with this, I carry with me an accumulation of societal assets. Therefore, my future involves returning these societal assets to Taiwan. Without the role of party chair, I will use my identity as a civilian to cross any political boundaries and exert even more passion to view, listen, stay in touch - and from a different position and perspective - catch on with the public. Later on, I will return what I learned from this experience to assist the DPP in expanding its base.
Even by leaving the party chair position, I will not forget my mission, which is to find the power of change for Taiwan. Taiwan has gone through a period of authoritarianism and inclination to conservatism, and it must break itself from the past and detach its emotions to bravely face change and to courageously move forward.
I am willing to exert all my energy and devote myself to public welfare. To all public interest groups that need assistance in promotion and endorsement of public issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Naturally, the remaining financial contributions of the presidential campaign must be spent on the public. I will use these funds properly and apply them for public interests, and I will transform their contributions into a consolidation of power towards public welfare uses.
I also wish to embark on finding the more than 6 million people who voted for me and supported the DPP as well as those who wanted to give me their vote. I want to personally give them thanks and to offer my apologies.
I understand that festivities do not last forever, and today marks the ending of a personal period in my life.  Nevertheless, this represents a new beginning for the entire DPP, and I have faith that under the leadership of Acting Chair and Mayor Chen Chu, society will be able to see our self-reflection and our never-yielding toughness. I also have faith that with a DPP that is undergoing changes, Mayor Chen Chu will steer a stable hand and play a role in establishing continuity and lay a foundation for the DPP’s next phase of development.
Lastly, I leave with the words of Samuel Huntington from his book, The Third Wave: “History does not advance in a straight forward fashion, but with a leader’s wisdom and determination, history will move forward.” The leader I mention here is not in the form of a person, but in the form of our party.
We must have faith in the values that we represent, and we must believe in our responsibility to protect Taiwan. We must believe we are capable of making Taiwan better, and we must have faith that we can bring a fairer and more justified society. What is most important is that we must have faith that the DPP will be a leading power in moving history forward.

Goodbye my friends, goodbye DPP! Thank you!


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