Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said he supported holding a national affairs conference to promote reconciliation and resolve the standoff between the government and the opposition.
“Reconciliation is the top priority, as political division has become the most serious setback for the nation, with the administration unable to implement its policies and the legislature unable to engage in meaningful discussion,” Hau said on the sidelines of a forum organized by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Hau attended the forum — which aims to examine the DPP’s performance between 2000 and 2008 when it was in power — as a former government official under then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Hau, now a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member, served as the head of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) from 2001 to 2003 when he was a member of the New Party.
Advocating the idea of a “community of responsibility (責任共同體),” Hau said all politicians should be responsible to the people, which was why he chose to engage in a dialogue with the DPP to forge closer ties and build mutual trust.
“Dialogues, conversations and debates are all helpful to finding a solution and they are better than occupying the legislative floor,” he said.
Hau, who was criticized by the pan-blue camp when he served as a Cabinet member under the DPP administration, said national development should be non-partisan, which is why he accepted the post at the time and why he thinks President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should organize a national affairs conference.
He added that he does not support a government-proposed national referendum on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) because it is a scientific issue that requires a review by international experts.
The son of former premier and general Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村), who political observers believe will be competing for the KMT’s nomination for the presidential election in 2016, Hau began advocating political reconciliation in August last year, when he attended a commemoration service for dissident Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), who committed suicide in 1989.
Hau has also supported medical parole for Chen, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for corruption.