Mon, Aug 11, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Purple alliance calls for fairness

SOCIALIST PLATFORM The newly formed Alliance of Fairness and Justice, also known as the Pan-Purple Alliance, hopes to draw the government's attention to minorities

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Members of the Alliance of Fairness and Justice, which was established by nine social welfare groups yesterday, take a pledge during the group's inaugural meeting.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Alliance of Fairness and Justice (AFJ) was established yesterday in a bid to form a "third force" in next year's presidential campaign.

The alliance, made up of minority groups, aims to put forward welfare policies and push for the establishment of a social security network.

The alliance's convener, ex-DPP legislator Chien Hsi-chieh, said the alliance is a new social movement pursuing fairness and justice.

The alliance, nicknamed the Pan-Purple Alliance, with purple representing minorities, has come up with the slogan: "Goodbye to shortsightedness and immediate benefit. Pursue fairness and justice."

Chen denied media reports that the alliance had contacted old-guard DPP politician Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) to run for the presidency on the alliance's behalf.

Chen said actions taken by the alliance require the consent of its board, and that the board has not discussed the issue of nominating a presidential candidate.

He did not exclude the possibility of a nomination, however, or the possibility of the alliance becoming a political party in the future.

In terms of policy, the alliance made welfare proposals yesterday based on a socialist model.

"We are asking the government to increase taxes on rich people and corporations," said Wang Jung-chang (王榮璋), secretary-general of the Alliance for Handicapped People (殘障聯盟) and the AFJ spokesman.

"Instead of increasing stipends for old people and low-income families, the government should push for elderly citizens' welfare. Furthermore, the welfare systems for old people and the handicapped should be integrated and strengthened," Wang said.

The alliance also asked the government for clear policies on immigrants and to create a special department in charge of related affairs such as protecting the work and education rights of foreign brides and their children.

Chien said the formation of the alliance was partly due to minority groups' disappointment with the DPP's performance over the past three years. He added he didn't have any hope the KMT would understand the needs of minority groups.

Participating groups in the alliance include Chien's own Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan (台灣和平促進文教基金會), the Alliance for Handicapped People (殘障聯盟), the National Teachers' Association (全國教師會), the Alliance for Old People's Welfare Promotion (老人福利推動聯盟), the Parents' Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (智障者家長總會), Awakening Foundation (婦女新知), Eden Social Welfare Foundation (伊甸社會福利基金會), Taiwan Labor Front (台灣勞工陣線) and The National Federation of Banks' Employees Union (銀行員工會全國聯合會).

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