Wed, Mar 19, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Presidential election 2008: 3 days to go: KMT win bad for freedom: Hsieh

POWER CORRUPTS As the violent crackdown in Tibet continues, the DPP hopeful and his supporters warned against the concentration of power within a single party

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wei Ping-hui, a construction worker for Freeway No. 6, and his dog Mimi ride out in support of Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh in Nantou County yesterday.


To vote for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in Saturday's presidential election would be to endorse one-party rule, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.

"One-party rule is bound to have far-reaching repercussions on the development of democracy and people's livelihoods," Hsieh said.

Since the KMT won the legislative election in January, many have wondered whether the country's hard-earned democracy is doomed, he said.

Hsieh made the remarks after visiting Huang Kun-yen (黃崑巖), co-founder of the National Cheng Kung University Hospital, in Taipei yesterday morning.

Urging undecided voters to come out and vote, Huang said he was worried the KMT's control of both the legislature and the executive would corrupt the party, whose lust for power manifested itself during its 50-year authoritarian rule.

"Power corrupts," he said. "Compared with the KMT's half-a-century rule, eight years of DPP rule is too short. We need another party to act as a check on the KMT's power."

If the KMT establishes the "cross-strait common market" and recognizes Chinese academic credentials, Huang said he expected medical quality to deteriorate, as there are as many as 5,000 medical practitioners in China waiting to enter the Taiwanese market.

While the KMT promised not to abuse its power if elected, Hsieh said the public could not afford to count on the party's goodwill alone.

"What if it [the KMT] cannot deliver on its promises? The only thing people could do is cry," he said. "We must establish a system in which the government continues to operate, but with checks and balances -- no matter who is in power."

If elected, Hsieh said, he promised to share administrative powers with the KMT and appoint a KMT member as premier.

The country would not be in idle spin, there would no longer be political infighting and government budgets would not be boycotted, Hsieh said. He would act as the gatekeeper of cross-strait policy and ensure that Taiwan-centered consciousness, national security and sovereignty are upheld while opening up to China.

At a separate setting yesterday, former national policy adviser to the president Huang Tien-fu (黃天福) expressed similar concerns, saying that Beijing's bloody crackdown on Tibet reminded him of the KMT's authoritarian rule.

"I'm afraid that Taiwan will become the next Tibet," he said. "If the KMT wins the election, we don't know when we will [get the presidency] back."

Huang Tien-fu is the brother of former DPP chairman Huang Hsin-chieh (黃信介), one of the individuals accused during the Kaohsiung Incident.

Also known as the Formosa Incident, the Kaohsiung Incident occurred on Dec. 10, 1979, when the KMT government cracked down and imprisoned participants in an anti-government parade organized by Formosa magazine.

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