Fri, Aug 03, 2007 - Page 3 News List

`Normal country' draft rattles Hsieh advocates

DIFFERENCES Frank Hsieh's supporters slammed Yu Shyi-kun, saying he should have consulted Hsieh before releasing the draft -- a charge that Yu denied

By Mo Yan-chih and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, second right, lauds the contribution made to the nation's democratization by the late political dissident Kuo Yu-hsin, after laying a wreath at his tomb on Yangmingshan yesterday.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers close to presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) voiced their concern yesterday that the draft "normal country resolution" unveiled on Wednesday by DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun could affect Hsieh's chances of winning next year's presidential election.

"Yu's desire to present the resolution is understandable as he wanted to seal his position in the party's history. But doing so without first consulting Hsieh may be detrimental to Hsieh and the party's legislative candidates," DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) said.

DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓) criticized Yu for meddling in other people's business by drafting the resolution.

"The discourse on issues concerning national identity should be the territory of the party's presidential candidate. Yu would have won the party primary if his stance on the matter was acceptable to the public," Hsieh Hsin-ni said.

DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) called on Yu to solicit opinions on the draft instead of clinging obstinately to his own course because "this is such an important issue."

Yu yesterday denied targeting Hsieh with the draft resolution and urged politicians to give the nation's future greater consideration.

"Politicians should not only consider elections. They have to think about the next generation and tell them where they will lead Taiwan," Yu said during a commemoration ceremony for democracy movement pioneer Kuo Yu-hsin (郭雨新).

Yu said that while the draft's stipulation of writing a new constitution differs from Hsieh's proposal in April to support the current Constitution, Hsieh had seen the draft resolution on Tuesday.

Yu was referring to Hsieh's proposal of a "constitutional one China" (憲法一中) during the DPP's presidential primary in April. Hsieh at the time argued that until the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution is amended, the DPP administration must acknowledge the ROC Constitution, although it is seriously flawed.

Yu added that the draft would be subject to further deliberation before being submitted to the party's Central Executive Committee for approval at the end of the month.

The draft stipulates that changing the national title to "Taiwan" is a means to prevent China from exploiting the name -- the Republic of China -- for propaganda purposes.

Yu also shrugged off concerns that the draft may cause tension between Taiwan and the US. He said that pushing for the normalization of the country is a core DPP value and would allow the international community to understand the collective expectations of all Taiwanese.

Hsieh declined to comment on the issue, only saying that the draft could be discussed further before the final resolution is passed during the party's national congress on Sept. 30.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) criticized Yu for pushing the movement as an election tactic.

"This is nothing but a DPP move to please both deep-green and swing voters," Su said at KMT headquarters yesterday.

Su criticized the DPP for failing to push the normalization of the country over the past seven years, and said it was raising the issue of independence now to shift the public's attention from economic issues.

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