National Civil Servant Association president Harry Lee (李來希) yesterday promised to throw his weight behind a move to recall New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) by people opposed to same-sex marriage, even as the latter expressed reservations about pursuing a closer alliance.
Lee urged people opposed to pension reform to participate in a recall rally this morning outside New Taipei City’s Sijhih Railway Station.
“NPP lawmakers only have empty ideas without real societal experience, advocating avant-garde and reckless legislation because they do not have a clear sense of the situation,” Lee said, citing as an example Huang’s support for same-sex marriage and an NPP-sponsored pension reform amendment allowing divorced spouses to claim a share of pension benefits.
“This would create payment difficulties, by leading to lawsuits after people retire. Because responsible agencies will not be able to determine the right proportion, they are likely to freeze contested payments, putting pressure on pensioners to let spouses take what they want,” he said.
The NPP’s version of pension reform legislation was more stringent than the version that was passed by the legislature, which exempts only near-minimum-wage pension payments from cuts.
Lee said he hoped to incorporate the Greater Taipei Stability Power Alliance campaigning for Huang’s recall in a plan to set up a political party for pensioners.
Leaders of the alliance are closely affiliated with the Faith and Hope League party, which unsuccessfully campaigned for legislative seats in last year’s election on a platform of opposing same-sex marriage.
Opponents of same-sex marriage have been seen on stage at rallies against pension reform, and pension reform opponents have also been observed participating in protests against same-sex marriage.
Both opposition movements share a relatively older and conservative support base, and feel sidelined by the media and government decisionmakers, who they often accuse of collusion to undermine the legitimacy of their voices and concerns.
“Because we do not want to be identified with any political color, we have not invited any political figures to take the stage, and we have politely declined Lee’s offer to attend to show his support,” Greater Taipei Stability Power Alliance chairman Sun Chi-cheng (孫繼正) said, while adding that there might be room for cooperation in mobilizing voters if a formal recall vote is called.
“Now that there is no longer any point for pension reform opponents to protest against the government, Huang is the only immediate pressure point for venting their anger, and we look favorably on that, just as we do for actions by any political party — but we will not allow them to take the stage and lead,” he said.
The petitioners claim to have already exceeded the petition signature threshold for calling such a vote and plan to submit the petitions to the Central Election Commission on Aug. 21.
TENSE SITUATION: If the storm does not bring rain, Taiwan might have to wait until next month amid water scarcity in the center and south, an expert said Typhoon Surigae is to bring rain to the nation’s east coast and mountainous areas in central and southern Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. As of 2pm yesterday, the typhoon’s center was 1,170km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), Taiwan’s southernmost tip. The radius of the storm was 280km, and it was moving northwest at 9kph, with a maximum wind speed of 198kph. The bureau forecasts that the storm would switch to a northerly direction when approaching the east coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines on Wednesday, CWB forecaster Lin Ding-yi (林定宜) said, adding that Surigae would
SEEKING CLARITY: Some members of the US delegation asked KMT legislators in a meeting to address their party’s position on the so-called ‘1992 consensus,’ sources said A US delegation tasked by US President Joe Biden to reaffirm the country’s commitment to its partnership with Taiwan yesterday wrapped up a three-day visit to Taipei. Former US senator Chris Dodd, former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, and US Department of State Office of Taiwan Coordination Director Dan Biers departed at 11:20am on a private jet. The members of the delegation, all friends of Biden, arrived on Wednesday and met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and other government officials. During the three-day visit, the delegation also met with six members of the Legislative
Taipei’s street names should reflect a “Taiwanese spirit,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said in an online video released yesterday, in which he asked why many of them are named after locations in China. In a three-minute video uploaded to a Facebook page called “Taiwanese Uncle Ko Wen-je” (台灣阿北柯文哲), the mayor suggested changing the names of Taipei streets. The page’s banner was a photograph of Ko on Jade Mountain’s (玉山) main peak. The page was closed at about noon, about four hours after it was made public. Ko said that street names in the capital named “Ningxia,” “Tibet,” “Beiping” — an old name for
‘AN EXCUSE’: The intent of Beijing’s incursions was ‘intimidation and coercion,’ a senior US official said, adding that China was using the US to justify its actions Chinese carrier drills and stepped-up incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the past few weeks are meant to send a message to Washington to stand down and back off, security sources in Taipei said. The increased activity — which China, unusually, described as “combat drills” on Wednesday — has raised alarm in both Taipei and Washington, although security officials do not see it as a sign of an imminent attack. Rather, at least some of the exercises are practicing “access denial” maneuvers to prevent foreign forces from coming to Taipei’s defense in a war, one official familiar with Taiwan’s security