Sun, Mar 20, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: The time for unity is now

Yesterday, calling for "truth, democracy and peace," pan-blue supporters took to the streets. Although some people claimed they were protesting China's "Anti-Secession" Law, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) made it plain that it was to protest the anniversary of the 319 shooting and result of last year's presidential election.

Although the truth behind the shooting incident has not emerged in its entirety, prosecutors and police have pinpointed Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄) as the likely perpetrator. While the evidence is still inadequate and there is much to be done before the police can wrap up the case, a lot of progress has been made over the last year. However, supported by the pan-blues, the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee jumped to partisan conclusions, then sought to substantiate their claims. Both the governing and opposition parties are seeking the truth, but the truth will not be made clearer by the pan-blue camp's self-serving efforts.

The pan-blue camp is unhappy with both the process surrounding last year's presidential election and its outcome. They filed lawsuits to have the election and its results invalidated. Both lawsuits were defeated in the courts, and the verdicts are now being appealed. The pan-blues do not trust the judiciary, but they still have to appeal through that same judiciary. This is as contradictory as accepting Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) leadership of the country while not recognizing the legitimacy of the election.

A year after the election, the majority of Taiwanese accept the legitimacy of Chen's presidency. They are looking to the future, and the numbers participating in yesterday's demonstration were far lower than last year's post-election demonstrations. People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) even issued a ten-point agreement on national security and ethnic issues with Chen after a meeting between the two last month. That was tantamount to recognizing Chen's leadership, and Soong later refused to participate in yesterday's demonstration. The Taiwanese people have already pushed the presidential election to the back of their minds, and the KMT alone remains in the past, licking its wounds and crying about the outcome of the presidential election.

Moreover, the KMT's actions have taken place under the shadow of war that has been cast by the enactment of the Anti-Secession Law, with its direct reference to the use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan. The KMT refuses to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against this external threat by participating in the upcoming March 26 rally, but instead organized its own rally yesterday in which it sought to stand against the president.

This was a serious political miscalculation. The March 26 rally is intended to announce to China and the world that the sovereignty of Taiwan and the power to decide the fate of Taiwan lies with the Taiwanese people, that this issue transcends party and ethnic differences and relates directly to the welfare of the Taiwanese people. For this reason, everyone should participate in it.

The KMT has said that it refuses to participate in the March 26 rally because this might lead to an error of judgement on the other side of the Strait as a way of drawing support to their March 19 rally, as well of upholding their position of not endorsing the legitimacy of Chen's presidency and not giving any assistance to the pan-green cause.

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