The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday announced details of a planned mass rally on May 19 to protest against what it calls President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) poor performance.
The protest, which will take place one day before Ma’s second-term inauguration, is expected to attract 100,000 people marching under the theme “Hard times, president [owes public an] explanation (日子歹過，總統踹共),” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) and DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) told a press conference.
The protest will press three demands: that the Ma administration freeze fuel and electricity prices, keep the ban on beef imports containing the animal feed additive ractopamine and withdraw the “one country, two areas (一國兩區)” proposal, Lin said.
It will also demand that Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) step down, he said.
The demonstration will not be a battle between political parties, but rather an expression of public dissatisfaction with the current administration, Pan said.
While it is organizing the protest against Ma, the DPP also feels remorse because its loss in the January presidential election gave him the opportunity to punish the public with his series of failed policies, Pan said.
Since the government has designated a 27km2 area around the Presidential Office off-limits for Ma’s inauguration ceremony, the DPP was forced to split the protest into three routes, with assembly points at National Taiwan University, the Wanhua Railway Station and the Songshan Tobacco Plant, Pan said.
Protesters will assemble at the intersection of Beiping E Road and Linsen N Road, where a rally is scheduled to be held in the evening.
The colors purple and yellow have been chosen for the rally, with purple representing the oppressed and yellow representing public anger.
The night rally will wrap up at 9pm and various activities will be organized by the party’s regional headquarters at railway stations across the nation the next day, he said.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has agreed to attend the demonstration, while acting DPP chairperson and Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) has not made a decision.
The DPP said that while it had no intention of collaborating with the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) on the demonstration, it had invited People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) to attend.
The TSU has said that its May 20 demonstration, which would begin where the DPP holds its night rally and end in front of the Presidential Office, would act like the “second leg” of the protest.
In related news, the DPP denied it was planning a motion to recall Ma, but said that Chen Chu decided during the Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday to establish a panel to study the feasibility of recalling several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers.
The decision was made because a number of KMT lawmakers supported lifting a ban on US beef imports containing ractopamine, a DPP spokesperson said.
A decision on whether to initiate a motion to recall Ma will be discussed by the panel at a later date, the spokesperson said.