Wed, Dec 05, 2012 - Page 3 News List

DPP plans mass action against Ma’s inaction on a range of national affairs

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it is planning an international press conference and mass protest in front of the Presidential Office in response to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) inaction on a wide range of national issues.

The party is scheduled to call an international press conference on Monday, which is International Human Rights Day, to address its serious concerns over the erosion of human rights during Ma’s presidency, DPP spokesman Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said.

The Ma administration ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2009, and pledged to amend domestic laws to adhere to the covenants within two years.

However, no substantial progress has been made, Wang said.

Ma has stayed mum on the controversial Next Media deal, which many feared would jeopardize the freedom of speech in Taiwan and create a media monopoly, he said.

Additionally, Ma’s administration has denied the Dalai Lama a visa to visit Taiwan, saying the timing was not “opportune,” he added.

Wang said another concern is the judiciary system, which has been known for going after pan-green politicians, particularly during election campaigns.

The DPP has said it will not tolerate Ma’s incompetence and his refusal to communicate with the opposition and the people, and is planning possible mass protests this month, the spokesperson said.

The party has applied for the road rights to Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office on Dec. 16, Dec. 22 and Dec. 29, Wang said, adding that the date and details of the planned protests would be announced at a later stage.

In addition to his silence on the Next Media deal, Ma has neither improved the economic situation within three months, as he had pledged, nor has he resolved the financial difficulties of various pension programs, which all face bankruptcy in the next decade, Wang said.

He added that the president has shut the door of communication by refusing to call a national affairs conference to seek solutions through discussion and collaboration with the opposition and civic groups.

With people losing trust and confidence in the government, the DPP, as the main opposition party, is obligated to make the people’s voice heard, which is why the protests are being planned, Wang said.

“It is likely the only way to force Ma to respond to people’s needs and hear their voice,” he said.

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