Fri, Dec 23, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Chai pledges to change the nation's title

NAME CHANGE The independence stalwart said that if he is elected as party chairman, one of his first acts will be to push for a change of the nation's official name to Taiwan

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮), one of the candidates in the battle for the chair of the party, revealed his campaign platform yesterday, pledging to change the country's official name if he is elected.

Adding that he would also propose changing the territory stipulated in the Constitution from incorporating China to just Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu should he be elected party chairman, Chai also took the opportunity to criticize his main rival Yu Shyi-kun for failing to fulfill commitments the DPP has made to its supporters.

Referring to the meeting during which all DPP legislators were invited to discuss the second-phase of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) constitutional reform plan, Chai said he was disappointed at remarks made by Yu during that meeting, held while Yu was secretary-general of the Presidential Office.

Chai said yesterday it was frustrating to hear Yu state during the meeting that the reform plan would not touch upon the issues of the nation's official title and territory.

"The DPP's failure in the recent elections was because the party has reneged on the promises it made," Chai said, before adding"therefore our image of integrity was sabotaged and we lost the trust of the people."

Chai added he will also ask government and party officials and legislators to place their property into a trust. In addition, wealthy members will have to explain the origin of their fortunes.

Chai made the remarks at a news conference held yesterday at DPP Headquarters when the three candidates running for the chairmanship drew lots for their candidate numbers.

Yu drew number one, Chai picked number two and the only female candidate, the former Changhua County commissioner Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠), who was not present yesterday, got number three.

Acting chairwoman Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) drew on behalf of Wong.

Yu reacted to Chai's criticism immediately, saying that the conclusion of the meeting was in line with the will of the president and he was just speaking on Chen's behalf in his position as spokesman for the Presidential Office.

Later in the day, Yu held a separate news conference to announce his campaign platform, arguing that the DPP needs to reorientate its role as the ruling party and also the party's relations with the government. He also said that the DPP has to retake a leading role in reform issues.

"Over the last 20 years," Yu said, "the DPP has played a leading role as a progressive power by advocating all sorts of social and political reforms and during this period the party grew stronger."

"However, since coming to power the DPP has not found an answer to the question of whether the government should lead the party or the party should lead the government," he said.

"Many of our members understand that our dreams cannot be realized for the time being, but what they cannot accept is that we lose our dreams," Yu said.

Yu proposed solutions to these problems, saying that the DPP needs to formulate solid policies that will help to meet society's demands for further reform.

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