Wed, Apr 09, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TRADE PACT SIEGE: Mayors divided by party line over protesters’ decision

Staff writer, with CNA

Municipal leaders have reacted positively to a decision by student protesters to withdraw from the Legislative Yuan at 6pm tomorrow.

Protest leaders made the announcement on Monday night.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member, said society had paid a hefty price for the student movement, but credited it for giving the public a chance to review both positive and negative aspects of cross-strait exchanges.

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), another KMT member, said that despite the heavy costs, society had learned many lessons.

Taoyuan County Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚), also of the KMT, urged the public to refocus on the issues themselves, saying that addressing them would be in the best interests of the public.

Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said he supported the students’ move to withdraw after completing their mission, adding that he had been impressed by the civic power and defense of democracy displayed by the movement.

Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), another DPP member, thanked the students for waging a battle for Taiwan, and said she hoped that the proposed oversight law on cross-strait agreements would live up to the public’s expectations.

Meanwhile, writer Hsiao Yeh (小野) said the withdrawal would be a perfect ending and he saw the Sunflower movement as stopping the government from continuing to operate without transparency.

Many people had predicted that the student movement would not last long when it began on March 18, but Hsiao said he was happy to see that the students were imaginative and had built up momentum.

“I am supporting them, and I do not feel that they have damaged public property,” he said.

Representative to France Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said the occupation of the legislative chamber had helped the public to think more rationally about the service trade pact, even as the public continued their normal life, showing how deeply rooted democracy is in Taiwan.

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