Sat, May 17, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh in ‘stay away’ Ma protest

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and his vice presidential candidate in March’s presidential election, Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), will not attend president-elect Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) inauguration on Tuesday.

Hsieh said he was planning to join Ma’s inauguration, but he changed his mind after Ma and vice president-elect Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) failed to apologize for the possibility that they might not be able to deliver on two of their campaign pledges.

“[Ma and Siew] had said that they would raise the economic growth rate to 6 percent and commence their cross-strait charter flights plan on July 4. Now they have [said] that they might not be able to make them come true, but they didn’t offer an apology for this,” Hsieh said.

When addressing members of the US Chamber of Commerce on April 29, Ma said he might not be able to achieve the economic goals.

Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), the designated-chairman of Straits Exchange Foundation, said on May 8 that the incoming KMT administration is pushed for time to implement charter flights by July 4.

“Those were all important planks in the election. It is bad that [politicians] disregard policies after an election and don’t apologize for failing to put them into effect,” Hsieh said, adding that his attendance at the inauguration would foster that culture.

Su said he had already arranged to attend other events before receiving the invitation from Ma’s office.

Meanwhile, outgoing President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) will not participate in the ceremony either, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

The Presidential Office said Chen will serve as a one-day volunteer at the Tzu Chi Foundation’s resource recycling station in Neihu, Taipei.

In related news, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office’s office in Los Angeles yesterday said the inauguration would be broadcast live on the Internet.

The Webcast will be available from 8:30am to 11:45am on May 20 on pages english.www.gov.tw and www.gio.gov.tw. The Webcast will include the swearing-in inside the Presidential Office, the celebrations at the Taipei Arena and the inaugural speech.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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