Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday received a boost as the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and a group of academics openly endorsed her bid.
In a speech at the TSU’s 10th anniversary celebration yesterday, Tsai said that during the DPP’s reforms over the past three years, the party has maintained close ties with the TSU and it has been a very enjoyable experience working with them.
Thanking the TSU for throwing its support behind her presidential campaign and the DPP’s legislative nominees, Tsai said she hoped the TSU would be able to pass the threshold required to earn a legislative seat and she looked forward to working with the TSU in the legislature.
Parties are required to receive 5 percent of the vote to nominate candidates for legislator-at-large seats.
Tsai said in her speech that the public was worried that a possible cross-strait peace accord mentioned by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would deprive the next generation of Taiwanese of a choice about their future, so the current generation should shoulder the responsibility.
“As such, the TSU and the DPP should work together even more closely and guard Taiwan,” she said.
On the nation’s economy, Tsai said the public needs an empathetic government that takes care of those who need help, not like the current government, which thought that every economic problem would be solved with the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), the TSU’s spiritual leader, did not attend the event as he is still recovering from surgery he underwent last month to have a tumor removed.
TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) read a statement on Lee’s behalf, which called for voters to cast their ballots for Tsai for president, the DPP for legislators and the TSU for their party vote.
According to Huang, although the New Party and the People First Party split from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the current core mentality of KMT decisionmakers was the same “China Unification” path as the New Party, only with a different packaging to attract neutral voters.
“The KMT is using the New Party to make a show and make believe that the KMT is a party of a modest path,” he said.
At a separate setting yesterday, a group of academics, including several from Academia Sinica, formed an alliance in support of Tsai’s presidential bid.
Academia Sinica’s Lin Ming-chang (林明璋) served as honorary convener of the group, while Taiwan Association of University Professors president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) served as the official convener.
Expressing her gratitude, Tsai said that being an Academia Sinica academic was once her dream.
“I am overcome with gratitude and a sense of responsibility today seeing so many academics and scholars show up to support my campaign, “ she said.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff writer