Thu, Mar 25, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Mixed response to CLSA prediction on 2012 election

By Flora Wang and Vincent Y. Chao  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers differed widely in their reaction to the CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets’ latest report, which predicted that the 2012 presidential election was the “KMT's to lose.”

The Hong Kong-based firm released a report on Tuesday titled The KMT as its own worst enemy, which said that while Ma was heading in the right direction by adopting China-leaning policies, the KMT could still lose the next presidential election because of “self-inflicted” wounds.

CLSA senior analyst Bruce Warden said in the report that the KMT’s record of administrative achievements was poor and it appeared to be insensitive to public opinion.

The image of Ma’s administration suffered many setbacks because of several recent events, including its inadequate response to the flooding caused by Typhoon Morakot in August, Warden said, adding that the DPP was catching up to the KMT, which would be the greatest threat for Ma and the KMT.

KMT legislators shrugged off the report, with KMT Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) saying it was simply an evaluation by a foreign company. It might not fully understand Taiwan’s political scene, he said.

“It is impossible for the company to know what may happen in 2012. The company is not God,” Lu said.

KMT Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) questioned the objectivity of the report, saying it was too early for anyone to jump to the conclusion that Ma would lose if he ran for re-election.

DPP lawmakers, however, said the report showed Ma needs to have a “clear change of direction” in his policies and take into account public concerns over the economic cooperation framework pact with China the government plans to sign before June.

“If the KMT continues its current policies, which includes secret negotiations [with China], it’s not only Ma’s term that will end in 2012, but the entire nation will be finished by then,” DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) said.

DPP caucus whip Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) said Ma’s inability to clearly communicate his policies and address public concerns over them were some of the reasons behind CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets’ findings.

DPP Legislator William Lai (賴清德) said that previous predictions by the brokerage and investment group turned out to be correct, including its prediction that then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) would win his reelection bid in the 2004.

Also See: EDITORIAL : KMT proposal reeks of censorship

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