Sun, Jan 16, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers `must listen to the voice of the people'


The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) must keep in touch with its grassroots and strengthen its "grand prospects that will touch the hearts of the people," a DPP official said yesterday.

DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) made the remarks when he attended a two-day policy seminar for DPP legislators-elect that opened that day.

In addition to Chang, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Yu Shyi-kun, Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) either spoke or attended the group meetings at the seminar, underscoring the importance the DPP attaches to the seminar.

Chang noted that in the Dec. 11 legislative elections, the DPP fared worse than expected, garnering only 89 of the 225 seats. Although it is still the largest party in the Legislative Yuan, it cannot form a stable majority with its ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union.

The DPP failed because it is not fully in touch with the people, Chang said, noting that although the public has grown tired of the endless petty bickering and rivalry between the parties, it has not translated into solid support for his party.

The voter turnout rate for the legislative elections was just 59.16 percent, 6 percent less when compared with the previous legislative election turnout. In a breakdown, votes for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was down by more than 8,000 votes from the previous election; votes for the TSU were down by 40,000 votes and those for the People First Party were down by 560,000 votes. In comparison, the votes for the DPP increased by 2.34 percent, or 20,000 votes more than in the previous legislative elections.

This shows that although the people are apathetic toward politics, they have nevertheless been positive in some degree to the DPP, according to Chang.

He urged the newly elected legislators to "listen to the voice of the people." As legislators of the ruling party, they should always be humble and broad-minded to help bring about reconciliation of the polarized ethnic groups and various parties.

He also stated that "if there is no cooperation, there will be no future, no stability and no harmony for Taiwan."

Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), acting DPP chairman, also spoke to the legislators-elect about the operations of the legislature. He will serve his fifth term in the new legislature that will be sworn in Feb. 1.

Ker, a dentist-turned-politician, also expressed the hope that the new legislators will find their own roles to play and ways to survive so that they can contribute to the DPP team.

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