Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) heavyweights yesterday responded to accusations from Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) that the party is using a student movement against planned adjustments to high-school curriculum guidelines as a tool of political manipulation.
In the wake of reports that the DPP provided financial assistance to high-school students nationwide who are protesting against the Ministry of Education’s planned adjustments to social studies guidelines, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presumptive presidential candidate Hung accused the DPP of politically manipulating the movement and the students on Facebook, urging DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to stop.
However, former premiers Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) said that the DPP has done nothing wrong in helping the student movement.
“The DPP is a political party. We not only strive to present policies to benefit the nation and to win elections, when civic groups apply for support with campaigns, we provide help to show our concern. We have done this before,” Yu said. “The DPP did not do anything wrong by doing so; the point is that the DPP did not intervene in the students’ decisionmaking mechanism.”
Hsieh said that on the other hand it is obvious that Hung is attempting to politicize the movement.
“Hung made the remarks because she wanted to politicize the student movement, so that people might think it is less justified,” Hsieh said. “Her attempt is very obvious.”
DPP spokesperson Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) echoed Yu’s opinion.
“The DPP has long been concerned about all different progressive and reform-minded social movements and has always been supportive of non-governmental organizations and social movements,” Cheng said. “Although we are supportive, we do not intervene — and we would love to provide help, however possible.”
Based on that principle, “the DPP would absolutely assist these high-school students, who are out on the streets defending their rights to education,” Cheng said.
During the Sunflower movement last year, the DPP provided water, food and other necessities, the spokesperson added.
“We help, but we do not intervene — and we do not try to harvest political influence,” Cheng said.
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