The Taiwan Action Party Alliance (TAPA), formed yesterday with the support of traditional pan-green voters and Taiwanese independence groups, could draw a sizeable block of votes away from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), political figures attending the party’s launch said.
Many people who joined TAPA yesterday said that they were dissatisfied with the actions and policies of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her administration, adding that they would have preferred to see former premier William Lai (賴清德) become the DPP’s presidential nominee.
“A Tsai-Lai ticket would improve Tsai’s chance of winning, but we are not sure if that would be the best combination,” former presidential advisor Wu Li-pei (吳澧培) said.
“To be honest, I am very disappointed with Tsai’s performance in her first three years as president,” he said.
“However, she has recently said things that we are more receptive to, so in the near future, we will pay more attention to what she does than to what she says,” he added.
Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who announced she was leaving the DPP last year after it did not pick her to be its Taipei mayoral candidate, was loudly applauded as she condemned Tsai and the DPP for their policy direction.
Many long-time DPP members had sacrificed much in fighting the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime to achieve democracy in Taiwan, Lu said, but “through changing administrations a few times, the DPP has become, so many believe, more like the KMT.”
“What happened to the DPP’s founding ideals?” she said. “Where are the DPP’s moral values — the party’s soul?”
Lu compared Taiwan’s current situation to that of the Titanic, saying: “This ship could hit an iceberg and sink if the leaders at the helm make blunders.”
She urged the parties that support Taiwanese independence to form an alliance for next year’s presidential election.
“With so many new parties being formed, I worry that Taiwan’s democracy might become a bubble that will burst,” Lu said. “I want to convince the leaders of these groups, who have similar aims and principles, to consolidate their forces, because we cannot afford to split further.”
Most people who support TAPA are DPP members, but they are very unhappy with Tsai’s stance on maintaining the “status quo” and her unwillingness to push the Taiwan-independence issue, said former Taiwan Independence Party chairman Tseng Miao-hung (曾淼泓), a retired army colonel, adding that they think she is afraid of Beijing.
“Tsai’s policies and stance on several core issues have created their dissatisfaction, and TAPA is drawing grassroots support away from the DPP, which could be critical in January’s elections,” he said.
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