Wed, Mar 25, 2015 - Page 8 News List

Lame duck Ma wants to direct a conference

By James Wang 王景弘

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) lost the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship, but wants to be chairman of a future national affairs conference. The reason given for this request is that former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) chaired similar conferences. This really is a shameless and unreasonable comparison. Does Ma not understand that he no longer commands the dignity of a president?

Lee and Chen had their minds set on reform and they displayed a democratic breadth of thought. Chen took the initiative to call a national affairs conference in an attempt to build consensus on reform when the opposition held a legislative majority. Neither of them was forced to call such a conference when their support ratings had dropped to 10 percent and they had less than a year remaining in their presidential terms.

Ma has stood alongside conservatism, resistance to reform and vested interests since the day he took over as chairman of the KMT. Irrefutable evidence of this can be seen in his early suggestion that the president be elected only by indirect presidential elections.

He has a reactionary mind-set, has resisted reform throughout his time in office and has instead become the target of calls for reform, but now he wants to direct a conference on reform in the post-Ma era. This really is overreaching.

The institution of the presidency carries the dignity of constitutional politics, but in the minds of the general public, when someone who defies the Constitution and ignores the rules happens to be president, this person does not carry the same dignity.

Ma might be president, but he has been causing a big ruckus: He relied on illegal wiretapping and leaked information because he wanted to get rid of the legislative speaker, his “cross-strait” policy is not subject to legislative oversight; he wants a meeting with the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but called the person in charge of setting up such a meeting a “communist spy”; he is under investigation for allegedly having received huge donations from a wealthy tycoon; he is intervening in the judiciary’s handling of Chen and he wants to appoint the man who prosecuted the participants in the Kaohsiung Incident of rebellion to the Council of Grand Justices; in addition to innumerable actions that were diametrically opposed to public opinion and led to the Sunflower movement protests and the KMT’s disastrous defeats in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29 last year.

He has no dignity or honor.

This dishonorable and anti-reform president does not have the wits to consider stepping down, but instead talks about the guarantee of his office term because he is so enamored of it and reluctant to part from it.

There is nothing the public can do about this person, but he shamelessly wants to interfere with a national affairs conference that society wants to hold to build a public consensus behind constitutional reform.

He has no understanding of the current situation in Taiwan.

Ma has waged an ill-willed, acrimonious battle against Chen, but when it comes to protecting his own skin, he does not hesitate to hold Chen up as a shiny example of past practice.

He must be more patient and wait until he has stepped down. At that time, he is certain to have a better opportunity to hold Chen up as an example: an example of how you do not run away, of how you accept judicial investigations and trial without asking for special privileges, of how you are treated the same as any other prisoner and of how you are allowed medical parole only when you have deteriorated so far that you have become incontinent.

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