Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Alliance forms to rate poll candidates

Staff Writer, with CNA

More than 20 civic groups formed an alliance yesterday to rate the presidential candidates in a bid to help voters make the best choice in the Jan. 14 poll.

The rights groups are scheduled to put forth questions on Oct. 30 for the presidential candidates of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and possibly the smaller People First Party on major issues such as poverty and cross-strait relations, said Chien Hsi-chieh (簡錫土皆), convener of the Anti-Poverty Alliance of Taiwan.

“We hope the presidential standard-bearers will respond within two weeks to our queries,” Chien said.

“We will lodge protests with the candidates at their campaign headquarters should our queries fall on deaf ears,” he added.

The activists will also pose questions on youth, tax reform, media reform, labor affairs, and civil rights issues and policies, said Feng Chien-san (馮建三), convener of the Campaign for Media Reform.

Feng blasted both President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is seeking re-election on the KMT ticket, and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), his main rival in the presidential election, accusing them of “acting dumb” on the issue of whether and how Taiwan’s media sector should be reformed.

Meanwhile, Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉), a board member of the Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan, said peace and democracy are issues much more important than Taiwan’s independence or unification with China.

It is meaningless for Ma and Tsai to trade barbs on cross-strait peace accords or a Taiwan consensus without making the content of their platforms known, Hsu said.

He added that former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the DPP had also proposed a cross-strait peace accord before, which he said appeared no different from the one recently mentioned by Ma.

“Ma and Tsai are both cheating the public for ballots if they engage only in rhetoric on the issue without making their policies and stances clear,” Hsu said.

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