Fri, Jan 15, 2016 - Page 3 News List

ELECTIONS: Republican Party pledges to pursue ‘clean politics’

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Republican Party legislative candidates yesterday promised to pursue clean politics if elected, signing a pledge to reject “red envelope” bribes and offers to rig government contracts, as well as to snub land speculation.

“From long-term care to housing to daycare, the government has failed to lay out policies for addressing the public’s needs and has instead handed over its responsibilities to corporations,” party spokesman Hsu Shih-shun (徐世勳) said. “What is even worse is there are often political figures behind the corporations, allowing them to act as arbiter to manipulate policies.”

The manipulation of government contracts has held back important infrastructure investments, and has caused the market to shrink and led to an outflow of capital by harming the nation’s investment environment, he said.

The party chose to raise the issue now to publicize its emphasis on clean politics before tomorrow’s legislative elections, Hsu said.

When asked why most of the party’s candidates failed to sign a Citizen Congress Watch (CCW) to publicize positions held by candidates in corporations and other organizations, Hsu said that the party voted to treat the CCW’s pledge with caution.

Only three Republican Party candidates have signed the CCW pledge, he said.

“There are numerous points in its wording that we do not agree with,” Hsu said, referring to CCW’s legislative reform proposals.

Several candidates also said that they had not been notified by the group.

“I feel that we as candidates have been bullied,” legislative candidate Rahic Amind said, adding that organizations often fail to contact candidates in a timely manner, often asking them to take last minute black-or-white stances on issues that they have no clear position.

He has not been contacted by CCW, Rahic Amind said.

When asked if the party had coordinated with the People First Party (PFP) in promulgating the pledge, Hsu stated that in previous conversations, PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) had expressed support for Republican Party principles.

Inviting him to sign the pledge should not be a problem, he said, adding that the party hoped that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party leaders would also sign it.

Republican Party Chairwoman Hsu Hsin-ying (徐欣瑩) is paired with Soong on the PFP’s ticket for vice presidential candidate.

Hsu Hsin-ying said that if elected, the parties would focus on Soong’s policies, adding that each party had separate policies and basic demands. While the Republican Party is focused more on legal reform and labor issues, its policy stances did not conflict with the PFP’s, as the two parties complement each other, he said.

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