Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Thousands protest against Ma

BIG GUNS:Su Tseng-chang, Annette Lu, Frank Hsieh, Tsai Ing-wen and Yu Shyi-kun all joined demonstrators on the streets of Taipei yesterday

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A ray of green laser light was projected onto the outer surface of the Presidential Office with the characters for “fury,” “incompetent” and “responsibility,” reflecting how the protesters felt about the president.

The nighttime rally, which consisted of speeches by students, politicians and representatives from various social groups as well as performances by several local rock bands, concluded at about 9:30pm.

Coincidentally, yesterday was a symbolic date for both Ma and the DPP.

Former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), who Ma served under and idolizes, died on Jan. 13, 1988. Former DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen concluded her election campaign on Jan. 13 last year, hoping to become the first female president in the nation’s history, but eventually lost to Ma by 800,000 votes.

Last night in front of the Presidential Office, Su officially launched the party’s counter offensive against Ma and said that the DPP would try to recall him and replace “any incompetent” KMT lawmaker and official.

“This is more than just a demonstration. This is the beginning of a reform movement, a resistance movement of the people against incompetent government as well as the beginning of a battle between reformists and anti-reformists,” Su told supporters.

Citing a video recorded in 2006, in which Ma asked former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to step down over his low approval ratings, Su urged Ma “not to forget what you said.”

“Ma said that ‘if you did not step down, people would make you,’ and that is what we want to remind him right now,” Su said.

Su said Ma and the KMT could be labeled as being anti-reformists over what they have done in the past and the DPP would adopt a three-way strategy against the government: checks and balances in the legislature, policy recommendations and public pressure on issues such as nuclear power and pension reform.

“Moreover, we are going to try to replace failed policies, the president, anti-reform lawmakers and government officials,” Su said

Before Su, several DPP heavyweights also called on Ma to take a good look at himself.

“A president who has made his people suffer and brave the cold wind and march on the streets for their rights should be ashamed of himself,” Tsai said.

The conflicts and division within society have reached breaking point with the country’s future at stake, she said.

“This is a time for solidarity as, throughout Taiwan’s history, we could always sit down for a discussion and find the right direction,” Tsai said, adding that a national affairs conference is necessary for resolving the country’s woes.

Ma does not know how to resolve the current problems and refuses the DPP’s assistance, former premier Frank Hsieh said.

“If he knows he has made a mistake then he has to correct it. If he does not know how to do it, he should resign. If he does not resign, people will make him step down. That is what democracy is all about,” Hsieh said.

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