Thousands of people yesterday joined a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rally in Taipei demanding that the government led by the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) take responsibility for its failure to improve the economy.
The DPP launched a one-month campaign titled “Fury (火大)” with the aim of expressing its anger over what it perceives as the Ma government’s incompetence. The campaign’s first rally was held at Longshan Temple (龍山寺) in Taipei yesterday afternoon.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told the crowd that the Executive Yuan in September promised to improve the economy within three months, but Ma at the time said three months was too long and that instead his administration would work to make economic improvements perceptible to the public within a month.
“A month passed, then two months passed. Now the three-month period is due to end this month, yet signs indicating any improvement in the economy or the public’s lives are still nowhere in sight,” Su said. “Because people’s lives are hard, the public has to take to the streets.”
Su said that 26 years ago, the DPP’s founders gathered at Longshan Temple, confronting the then-authoritarian KMT government and fighting for press freedom.
“Press freedom was achieved in Taiwan. However, as a result of China’s influence, under the Ma government, Taiwan’s media have relapsed into their former state of less freedom and incomplete information,” he said.
“If people do not take to the streets, Ma will not know how furious the public is,” said former premier Yu Shyi-kun, one of the DPP heavyweights who took to the stage to address the crowd.
“Ma, step down,” Yu led the crowd in chanting after he said the Ma government has caused a deterioration of the nation’s economy and a regression of the nation’s democracy. He cited a recent example in which the Ministry of Education sent an e-mail asking universities to “show concern” for and investigate students taking part in anti-media monopoly protests.
Two “Fury” rallies will be held in Greater Taichung and Taoyuan County today, the party said, adding that the series of rallies is scheduled to end with a large protest in Taipei on Jan. 13 next year.