Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday brushed off a shoe-throwing threat from a group of activists who claimed the two have not worked hard enough for the release of imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
The activists, led by Taiwan Referendum Alliance convener Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴), on Monday urged Su and Tsai to actively pursue Chen’s release. They said that if the two failed to come up with a concrete plan on seeking medical parole or a presidential pardon for Chen before the Lantern Festival on Sunday, the supporters would throw shoes at them in public settings.
Su and Tsai both chose to answer the threat indirectly by calling on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to respect the judicial and medical rights of the former president, who is serving an 18-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption and whose health is deteriorating.
Su also urged Chen’s supporters to understand that the “rescue mission” would be carried out “step-by-step” and could not be achieved overnight.
Su reiterated that the DPP had launched a campaign, which had seen more than a dozen local councils reaching resolutions demanding medical parole for Chen and had repeatedly called for Ma to respect Chen’s rights.
Chen’s health has been a serious concern and the government should provide better medical treatment and improved living conditions for Chen to recover from his mental illness, Tsai said in response to reporters’ questions in Jhongli (中壢), Taoyuan County.
“There should not be any political calculation in this issue,” Tsai said.
Speaking at the same occasion as Tsai, Taiwan Hakka Society president Chang Yeh-sun (張葉森) said the former president had tried to talk Tsay out of his shoe-throwing threat when they met on Jan. 30, saying that the DPP had done enough to try to secure his release.