Wed, Apr 02, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Chen, Ma meet at Taipei Guest House

MANO A MANO The outgoing president and the president-elect sat down for 90 minutes yesterday, but failed to see eye-to-eye on the so-called '1992 consensus'

By Ko Shu-ling and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Ma in turn assured the president that he would allow majority rule, respect the opinion of the minority and tolerate different voices.

Ma said he would fulfill his promises by seeking dialogue with people who disagree with his ideas, adding that he hoped to build public consensus on such issues.

He said he would incorporate part of DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh’s (謝長廷) platform, such as “reconciliation and co-existence,” into his policies.

He said the presidential election was “impressive” and constituted “a very significant achievement” in Taiwan’s democratic development.

“This was the result of the contributions of all Taiwanese people, not a specific individual or a political party,” he said.

“Taiwanese people’s choosing the KMT in this election did not mean they completely reject the DPP,” he said.

Ma said the DPP continued to play an important role in Taiwanese democracy.

“We are very willing to compete with the DPP freely and fairly,” he said. “Perennial opposition is not something we hope for.”

Ma also promised not to make hasty decisions regarding policies that the public still disagrees on, including cross-strait matters.

Ma vowed to create polices that are “Taiwan-centered” and serve the interests of the people.

He also assured Chen that he would serve with humility.

“I’ve woken up very early [since the election] at the thought of the great responsibilities on my shoulder,” he said.

“Particularly, I know everyone is mortal and sometimes one may not be able to resist the temptation to abuse authority when one is in power,” he said, adding that this was the reason why he reminded himself and others that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Asked for comment after the additional confidential meeting, Ma spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said Ma and Chen had got along well.

Lo said the two men had discussed issues such as national defense, diplomacy and national security, but details of the meeting were kept confidential.

Lo said that so far Ma’s office did not have plans for another meeting with the president.

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