Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) yesterday finished the first day of his hunger strike in front of the legislature after receiving no response from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to three demands he made on Sunday.
The 70-year-old Hsu said he would not back down until Ma concedes.
After beginning a sit-in on Sunday afternoon, Hsu gave Ma 24 hours to respond affirmatively on three issues — freezing fuel and electricity prices, retaining the ban on beef imports containing residues of the feed-additive ractopamine and giving a presidential pardon to former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison sentence for corruption.
Hsu vowed to stage an indefinite hunger strike if Ma failed to give “positive responses.”
Presidential spokesperson Fang Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said on Sunday night that Ma “had already made necessary adjustments to his policies” and urged Hsu to take care of his health.
Yesterday afternoon, Hsu said he still hoped Ma would agree to all three demands, adding that he would find it acceptable “if Ma offered concessions and agreed to negotiate the three issues with the DPP.”
On the issue of a presidential pardon, Hsu said it was an exclusive constitutional right of the president and a “higher power” than the judiciary.
“There is no such thing as interference with the judiciary, because it [a presidential pardon] is made out of political deliberation rather than legal consideration, with the president making his own judgement on the basis of the national interest,” Hsu said.
Hsu is one of five candidates for this weekend’s Democratic Progressive Party chairmanship election.