Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) praised the students’ courage and commitment to public policies in a press release, saying that they represent the “consciousness and hope of Taiwan’s society.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Yuan reiterated in a press statement that it would not take a position on or get involved in the case, saying the Financial Supervisory Commission, the Fair Trade Commission and the National Communications Commission are the authorities tasked with reviewing the deal and since they are all independent agencies, they would exercise their powers accordingly.
The Executive Yuan said it would not give any instructions to the agencies.
“Freedom of speech is the foundation of a modern democracy. The Executive Yuan upholds freedom of speech as protected by the Constitution. Taiwan is a democracy ruled by law. With regard to media mergers and acquisitions, the government agencies assigned to them will review the cases in accordance with law,” the statement said.
It would be “inappropriate” for the Executive Yuan to weigh in on discussions about specific cases or to participate in the reviews handled by the independent agencies because the buyers involved have certain political inclinations, it said.
The Executive Yuan said it fully understood the demands made by the students since they gathered on Monday in the sit-in.
“Since 2pm [on Monday], representatives from the Financial Supervisory Commission, Fair Trade Commission and the National Communications Commission have been on standby in the Executive Yuan waiting to meet the petitioners. The Executive Yuan sent its staff to ask the petitioners if they would like to come in to talk or give us their petition letter every half-an-hour since 2pm, on four occasions, but students rejected the idea,” it said.
In an interview with reporters later yesterday, Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said the Executive Yuan’s interference in the case would amount to “a step backward for democracy” since “the era of martial law in Taiwan ended many years ago.”