Mon, May 21, 2012 - Page 1 News List

MA’S RE-INAUGURATION: Opposition voices displeasure with president’s speech

By Chris Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporters

Opposition parties in both camps yesterday sniped at President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for an inauguration speech they said came well short of meeting people’s expectations.

Leading the attacks, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Ma’s speech turned a deaf ear to public discontent with his policies and said it would launch a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet, as well as a series of recall attempts.

DPP interim chairperson Chen Chu (陳菊) told a press conference at the legislature that DPP lawmakers would launch a motion of no confidence and demand a complete reshuffle of the Cabinet after the Ma administration announced that all top Cabinet members would be retained.

In his inauguration address, Ma neither apologized nor responded to public anger toward his decisions to raise fuel and electricity prices and to favor relaxing a ban on imports of beef containing the livestock feed additive ractopamine, despite tens of thousands of people protesting on Saturday, Chen said.

Ma answered the public by deciding to keep Premier Sean Chen and retain almost all Cabinet members, she said.

“As an opposition party, the DPP will do whatever it takes to monitor the president, who has taken his own course without considering the public’s well-being and the country’s future,” Chen Chu said.

To maintain accountability, the party would launch a motion of no confidence to demand Sean Chen’s ouster and it would fully back the attempt to recall legislators who supported relaxing or lifting the ractopamine ban, she said.

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said his party would launch a two-year, three-stage plan to recall three Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) mayors, KMT lawmakers and the president.

Huang criticized Ma’s inclusion of the “one country, two areas (一國兩區)” proposal in his speech, saying that the proposal and the “fictitious ‘1992 consensus’” would place Taiwan under the “one China framework” in Beijing’s favor, which would be treasonable.

Huang suspected that Ma is ready to promote unification with China in his second four-year term.

“That would be Taiwanese people’s biggest nightmare,” he said, adding that Ma disqualified himself as a national leader for his non-recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty and his claim that the land area encompassed in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is part of the territory of the Republic of China.

The TSU has laid out a three-stage plan to recall KMT politicians, Huang said.

The party would immediately work on attempts to recall the mayors of Taipei, New Taipei City (新北市) and Greater Taichung, followed by moves to recall various KMT lawmakers in February next year and Ma one year into his second term in May next year, as the law stipulates that elected officials and representatives could not be recalled before serving out a year into their terms.

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) also criticized Ma’s mention of the so-called “1992 consensus” and “one country, two areas” in a message posted on his Facebook page as “irresponsible” and “a distortion of history.”

Lee, 89, said he had twice defined cross-strait relations as “special state-to-state relations” in 1999 when he was president.

The idea of “two areas” came out of nowhere since Taiwan does not include the PRC, Lee wrote.

The Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) is a domestic law that does not provide a legal basis to interpret the cross-strait status, Lee said.

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