Sun, Dec 04, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Presidential candidates cross swords

HEAD TO HEAD:The following is a transcription of the third part of yesterday’s televised presidential debate, in which each candidate posed two questions to each opponent

Transcribed by Loa Iok-sin, Lee I-chia and Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporters

However, if I am elected president, I would push for an amendment to the Public Debt Act (公共債務法) and the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures (財政收支劃分法), and would not raise any unnecessary special budgets to avoid the annual debt raising ceiling

The problem of debt is a very serious one. The debt crisis in the eurozone stems from an over--inflation of social benefits. Therefore, if I am elected president, I would hold a financial policy meeting and seek inter-party consensus to resolve problems that have accumulated over the years.

Second, on the issue of consolidating the national economy, I must say that up until now we have not really tried to understand what the ECFA is. The ECFA is a platform that allows Taiwanese industry to establish itself in Taiwan, develop in China and market itself to the world. Taiwan is a gateway, a hub, into China for international multinationals.

This election will determine how ECFA is viewed by management and how it is used to create commercial benefits in the future.

Soong: Ever since the Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶) case [the wrongful execution in 1997 of a soldier suspected of rape and murder] and the White Rose movement, there has been considerable public disquiet about “dinosaur rulings” and “dinosaur judges.” A total of 81 percent of the public feels that the courts are not just and people are scared of judicial reform, just like they are afraid of educational reform. For the past 12 years, the KMT and the DPP have taken turns in running the central government, but the people are gradually losing confidence in judicial reform. Not intervening in individual cases does not constitute reform of the judicial system. In addition, corruption and graft are causing our society to lose its sense of justice and equality.

How would you seek to re-establish people’s trust in the judiciary and the legal system?

Tsai: I agree with Chairman Soong that judicial reform is a very urgent issue. Judicial reform involves more than just solving several so-called major cases; it is all about ensuring the common people receive justice.

Therefore, judicial reform must be based on ensuring the law is the people’s law. That is to say, when citizens have their rights infringed upon, the law is there to ensure they get justice and compensation.

If a person is accused of breaking the law, then he or she has a right to due process and all the protections that go with that, especially the protection of human rights. That is the true meaning of a judicial reform.

For a long time in the past, I must say frankly that we used a lot of professional lawyers to guide judicial reform and I feel that this is perhaps one reason why those reforms have gone nowhere.

The reform of the judiciary touches on several problems, including interests and benefits, the distribution of benefits, differing opinions and interpretations, even that the different ideas of different generations of lawyers.

This process of discussion, mediation, and movement toward change needs to be guided by a political leader. Once again the most important thing is the political leader, who must have the firm hand needed to lead judicial reform.

Judicial reform is extremely urgent. In his discussion of judicial reform our president has said that he will not intervene in specific cases or investigations in major cases. However, that is not judicial reform. If I were elected president, we would work together with different sectors to ensure true judicial reform.

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