Sun, Dec 18, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Demonstrators clash with police ahead of TV debate

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Police line up yesterday in front of the Public Television Service where the final debate between the three presidential candidates took place in Taipei.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Several civic groups yesterday protested outside the presidential debate venue in Taipei amid tightened security in the area, with some clashing with police.

Several Aborigines battled with police as they protested against the debate organizers’ failure to include Aborigines among the 12 civic groups selected to pose questions to the three presidential candidates, shouting: “Aborigines want the right to ask questions!”

One protester was rushed to the hospital after breaking his arm during the clash as Aboriginal legislative candidate Mayaw Biho and the protesters accused the organizers of ignoring the rights of Aborigines to join other civic groups in questioning the candidates.

Taiwan National Congress legislator-at-large candidate Chen Chia-chun (陳嘉君), the wife of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-te (施明德), who has since severed ties with the party, also caused a stir as she and several protesters called for a debate on political party votes as they drove a van to the Public Television Service. She and the driver were later pulled from their vehicle by the police.

“The police hit me! You have no right to pull me out of my car!” she shouted to the police while being taken away from the site.

Tibetans, pro-independence supporters and farmers’ groups also showed up to protest.

The National Police Agency and the National Security Bureau dispatched more police and tightened security after a protest by supporters of the preservation of the Losheng Sanatorium on Thursday. Measures included extending the cordoned areas and demanding identification.

National Security Bureau Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) said the bureau tightened security at the venue after it received information about protests yesterday, but -declined to give details about security.

National Police Agency -Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) arrived at the venue before noon to monitor the situation before the three candidates arrived.

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