Mon, Jun 14, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Hundreds of thousands expected to rally against ECFA

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) could be one of the speakers at next week’s protest against the government’s plan to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced on Wednesday that it would hold a massive rally in Taipei City on June 26 to demand the government put its proposed ECFA to a referendum.

Citing a sharp divide in polls over the controversial trade agreement, the DPP is set to unveil a new referendum proposal asking voters whether they agreed with an ECFA at the rally.

The DPP’s standing committee is expected to give the go ahead tomorrow for the rally and to authorize the DPP’s ECFA response team to launch a mobilization order asking tens of thousands of party supporters to congregate in Taipei City.

Party sources told the Central News Agency that the protest could be divided into two routes that would later congregate on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

While the agency reported that as many as 100,000 are expected to attend the rally, DPP ECFA response team spokesperson Julian Kuo (郭正亮) told the Taipei Times earlier yesterday that the number could reach 200,000.

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Kao Chien-chih (高建智) said the party would invite Lee to attend the rally, along with a number of pro-independence organizations and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU).

TSU Chairperson Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝), former presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) and a number of other pro-independence heavyweights are expected to hold a joint press conference today in support of the rally.

The June 26 protest will be the biggest rally to date against an ECFA and in support of a referendum being held on the issue.

In related news, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday downplayed comments reportedly made by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) that Tsai would be the DPP’s candidate for the 2012 presidential election.

Tsai said she had no comment, adding that the DPP was firmly focused on the year-end special municipality elections.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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