KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday condemned the central government for causing ethnic strife by removing the plaque without seeking a public consensus.
"The government's decision does not promote freedom and democracy. It's also not legal," he said.
Ma lashed out at the government for damaging a historic site and ignoring the law by tearing down the original plaque without obtaining the city's approval.
"There is room for discussions in terms of whether or not the plaque should be removed. The government failed to seek a consensus before making the move, and it's a new autarchy," he said.
At a separate setting yesterday, former president Lee Teng-hui (
Lee said everyone should take an optimistic view on the issue of national identity instead of quarrelling over the matter.
The memorial hall controversy was the result of politicians manipulating ethnic issues, he said.
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih and Shih Hsiu-chuan