Thu, Jun 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Group urges public to shun green, blue camps

AN ALTERNATIVE The Taipei Society said people were losing confidence in politicians, and suggested that outside candidates could win support in the next presidential poll

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The electorate should consider backing an alternative pair of presidential candidates in 2008 if both the ruling and opposition parties continue to disappoint the public, a private political pressure group said yesterday.

"The administration and opposition parties must heed the possibility of a third set of presidential candidates," said Allen Houng (洪裕宏), executive member of the Taipei Society.

Houng called on the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to quit shouting slogans and instead make an effort to impress the public with its performance in the remaining two years of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) term.

He also urged the opposition pan-blue alliance of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) to divert their focus from exposing corruption scandals to outlining clear-cut goals for the country.

Houng made the remarks yesterday morning during a press conference called to release the group's views on how to consolidate Taiwan's democracy in the "post-A-bian" era.

A-bian is Chen's nickname.

Houng said his group's position was that they would like to see the nation's politics develop in a healthy direction.

"We are reluctant to see the pan-blue camp lose public support and the pan-green alliance bow out of politics," he said.

Commenting on the pan-blue camp's recall motion against Chen, Houng said that the president does not need to step down unless the first family is proven guilty of corruption.

If Chen steps down, the DPP is bound to face other problems as Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) takes over at the nation's helm and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) departs along with Chen, Houng said.

If Chen manages to weather the crisis, Houng said he expected to see the pan-blue alliance continue to expose more "scandals" to sabotage the DPP's credibility.

Society president Hawang Shiow-duan (黃秀端) said that the nation's democratic development was threatened by the public's loss of confidence.

Some of the causes of the crisis of confidence, she said, included the inconsistent policies of the administration, opposition parties' capitalizing on political unrest for partisan gains, the leaking of information from the judiciary to the media, as well as a biased media.

Group member Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) called on politicians, the media and the judicial system to act professionally in a bid to recover public trust.

"Only through professionalism can we establish a lasting democratic system," he said. "If we have a healthy mechanism in place, we can correct the wrongdoings of politicians with the system and prevent the country from plunging into a political quandary."

Another group member, Ku Chung-hwa (顧忠華), said that it was time to seriously consider overhauling the Constitution.

Likening the current political climate to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, Ku called on politicians to stop manipulating the public for political gain and the media to cease inciting social tension.

Ku urged Chen to be transparent in his exercise of power in the wake of his announcement that he would delegate powers to Su. He also called on the opposition-dominated legislature to focus on enacting laws and reviewing budgets rather than playing the role of prosecutors.

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