The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) have apologized after Su used campaign rhetoric when voicing support for the student protest inside and around the Legislative Yuan on Friday.
Su late on Friday posted a personal apology on Facebook for what he said was a “slip of the tongue” when he shouted his endorsement for the DPP’s Taichung mayoral candidate in the year-end elections.
Su was addressing a DPP-mobilized crowd, which gathered outside the Legislative Yuan to lend its support to the student protesters.
The DPP chairman promised not to make the same mistake again.
Many of the pact’s critics said it would hurt Taiwan’s small and medium-sized businesses and people’s livelihoods.
Su’s Facebook post followed a similar apology made by DPP spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) earlier in the day, which cited “the supporters’ overwhelming enthusiasm” as the reason for Su’s unexpected remark.
Recent DPP involvement in public protests over the agreement has drawn criticism from some participants and observers.
The DPP has accused the pact of lacking transparency during its negotiation and has warned of the potential damage it could do to Taiwan’s service industry and even national security.
With students now out in full force protesting for a detailed review of the trade agreement, some feel the DPP is riding the wave of discontent for its political gain.
In addition to applauding the students for storming the Legislative Yuan, Su has ordered the party’s public office holders to take turns in sitting with the protesters outside the legislature.
However, the student protesters appear to want to keep the DPP party at a distance.
Some criticized the appearance of DPP election-related banners and material around the Legislative Yuan on Friday.
Shortly afterward, the DPP called on party members to “not carry flags or wear vests or other items related to individual candidates” when participating in the student-led demonstrations around the country.