Su calls premier, urges a meeting with DPP caucus

By Chris Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporters

Thu, Feb 21, 2013 - Page 1

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said he called Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday morning and urged him to show a “different attitude, approach and policies” from previous Cabinets and improve communication with the Legislative Yuan.

As for Jiang’s offer for a meeting with opposition party leaders, Su said that constitutionally, the premier should first meet with the DPP legislative caucus.

“Since the DPP holds different views from the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] on several major policies, such as pension reforms, the anti-nuclear movement and media anti-monopoly efforts, it is imperative for Jiang to meet with lawmakers,” Su said.

Constitutionally, the premier and the Executive Yuan are responsible to the legislature, he said.

Su said he had not ruled out meeting Jiang, but would not do so as DPP chairman. Any meeting would be one between the incumbent premier and a former premier to share experiences, he said.

The DPP’s “three-four-five” goal for Jiang announced earlier this week (annual wage growth of 3 percent, an unemployment rate of less than 4 percent and GDP growth of more than 5 percent) was clear, Su said.

The DPP appears willing to give the new premier the benefit of the doubt, with most of its senior politicians saying yesterday that they would give Jiang time to perform.

Former premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) said that even though Jiang has been described as “a second Ma Ying-jeou” (馬英九), if the premier respected the DPP’s views on various policies, domestic political stability would benefit the public.

“The most important job for the new Cabinet is to meet the public’s expectations and, in our view, nothing would better achieve that goal than the suspension of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant project,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

The DPP opposed the construction of the plant and opposes an additional budget allocation to finish the project, Lin said.

Jiang could demonstrate his difference from past premiers by promising to suspend construction of the plant before tackling other controversial policies, Lin said

Fuel prices, which have risen for four straight weeks, are another area that Jiang needs to give immediate attention to, Lin added, saying that the opaqueness of the fuel pricing formula and poor operation of state-owned CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) made the public doubt the legitimacy of price hikes.

Meanwhile, Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said the Executive Yuan viewed Su’s telephone call as a gesture of “goodwill and friendliness.”

“The conversation was conducted in a cordial atmosphere, which was something that seldom happens in politics. We hope it could be an opportunity to end the friction between the government and the opposition,” she said.

According to Cheng, Jiang said he would accept Su’s suggestion that as a premier his priority should be to visit the DPP caucus and that he had already been planning to do so.

Jiang also told Su that he still looked forward to sitting down with him, Cheng said.

There has been no response yet from the Taiwan Solidarity Union or the People First Party about the proposed opposition leaders’ meeting, she said.