Sun, Mar 06, 2005 - Page 8 News List

DPP in crisis after Chen's betrayal

By the Liberty Times editorial

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) signed an accord with People's First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) after their meeting last week. The accord contains a 10-point consensus which encompasses the promise to "respect" the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution and a reiteration of the "five noes" commitment, among others. Later, Chen went on to declare that the campaign to change the title of the country and adopt a new constitution is being "self-delusional."

Those moves triggered outrage from people in the nativized camp. Many heavyweight elders of the pro-independence camp who have always supported the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government voiced serious disapproval. Presidential advisor Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) declared on Tuesday that he would resign from his post, and that he would not change his mind. Koo solemnly indicated that during the past five years, as an adviser to the president, he had on many occasions informed President Chen that the "five noes" seriously jeopardized the country's survival and development. However, during this past meeting with Soong, President Chen didn't give a second thought to reiterating them.

"One minute President Chen wants to create a new constitution and the next minute he wants to amend the constitution," Koo said. "So the impression the president gives is shaky and unstable ... there is really nothing I can do about him."

Facing the backlash from pro-nativization camps, their supporters and pro-independence elders, the DPP is trying to persuade them not to abandon the party. They have also openly declared that the ideals of the party have not changed. Chen even said that the idea of seeking cooperation with the PFP had come from former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), and then cited the example that as president, Lee himself had invited the conservative general Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) to head the cabinet.

He tried to use Lee as an excuse for the compromises he made during the meeting with Soong. Based on the reaction of the DPP government, Chen and Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) apparently still think that the backlash of the nativized camps is merely a temper tantrum that will soon pass. They are still blinded by the myth that "no matter how dissatisfied the nativized camps may be, they will still have no choice but to support the DPP in elections."

But it's absurd and ridiculous for Chen to compare interim measures taken by Lee in order to dismantle an authoritarian regime and the moves taken by Chen after a change in the governing party and democratic reforms. This further shows that Chen and Hsieh are completely ignorant of the crisis they face in terms of the legitimacy of their government and its ideological path.

The meeting between Chen and Soong caused resentment not because of their agreement for the two parties to cooperate and reconcile. Rather, it's because the ten-point consensus they made departed from the long-term ideals pursued by the DPP and the supporters of nativization. In other words, it has denied the spirit and reality of Taiwan's long march toward becoming a "normal country."

As for cross-party cooperation, it's inevitable, regardless of whether the DPP government has a legislative majority. Even if the pan-green camp had won a majority of the seats at the Legislative Yuan, it would still have to facilitate social harmony and stability through cross-party cooperation. Therefore, the cooperation between political parties is something that the people are happy to see.

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