Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) began a one-man protest in front of the Legislative Yuan yesterday and gave President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) a 24-hour deadline to respond to public grievances, threatening an indefinite hunger strike if Ma failed to answer.
Hsu, 70, asked Ma for affirmative responses on three issues — freezing fuel and electricity prices, keeping the ban on US beef imports containing ractopamine residues and a presidential pardon for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is in prison for corruption — before 3pm today.
If Ma failed to respond by that time, Hsu said he would begin an indefinite hunger strike until Ma does.
“I’m doing this because there is no way in Taiwan today that a disqualified president can be brought down and because Ma refuses to listen to the people,” Hsu said.
Hsu said he thought Ma should have responded to public suffering in his inauguration speech yesterday after Saturday’s massive protest organized by the DPP.
“A president of a true democracy could not possibly refuse to listen to the public. A democracy with an authoritarian leader is not a true democracy,” he said.
Since there was no feasible method to replace the president, despite an approval rate of 15 percent, and because recalling Ma was unlikely to work, Hsu said the only thing he could do was to “resort to an intensified individual protest and hope that people would follow my lead to force a change.”
Hsu, who is one of five candidates in the DPP chair-person election on Sunday, denied that his protest was a campaign tactic.