The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is organizing up to 10 local rallies beginning on Saturday, as a warm-up to a massive protest planned for next month, and is to announce its candidate for a legislative by-election on Monday, the party said yesterday.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said after the party’s Central Standing Committee (CSC) meeting that the first rally would be held at Longshan Temple in Taipei on Saturday.
The rally is to be followed by a pair of similar events in Jhongli (中壢), Taoyuan County, and in Greater Taichung on Sunday, with other local rallies still being planned.
The events — in which various DPP politicians are to speak to the public about the party’s reform plan against the “inaction and incompetence of the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — are to be a prelude to a massive demonstration scheduled for next month.
“People are angry. We call on Taiwanese to step forward and make their appeals heard. Let’s show the power of the people,” Su said.
The DPP is to conduct a public opinion poll that will form the basis of Su’s decision on who would represent the DPP in a by-election in Greater Taichung on Jan. 26, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.
The by-election is to fill a post in the second electoral district in Greater Taichung left vacant by former Non-Partisan Solidarity Union legislator Yen Ching-piao (顏清標), whose status was revoked after a guilty verdict on a corruption charge was finalized.
Yen’s son, Yen Kuan-hen (顏寬恆), is expected to participate in the election, regardless of whether he is nominated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
The party said five members are expected to vie for nomination: former lawmaker Lin Feng-hsi (林豐喜), incumbent Greater Taichung councilors Liu Jin-ho (劉錦和) and Chen Shih-kai (陳世凱), former Taichung County councilor Liu Shu-lan (劉淑蘭), and Lee Shun-liang (李順涼), an elementary-school principal.
Su is expected to submit his nomination for the election on Monday to the DPP’s Central Executive Committee for final approval, Lin said.
Also yesterday, the CSC reached a resolution demanding that Ma express his concerns about the human rights situation in China, as the number of Tibetans who set themselves on fire and died in protest against Beijing’s oppression have passed 100, Lin said.
The DPP’s think tank also laid out the direction of its plan for a comprehensive pension reform in the meeting yesterday, Lin said.
The think tank is working out the details in collaboration with a task force of the DPP caucus, but the plan would highlight the spirit of “social consolidation” to avoid division between different groups of people, Lin said.