DPP moves ahead with Jan. 13 protest plans

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Dec 27, 2012 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it has begun mobilizing for a planned protest against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration on Jan. 13, even as it reiterated its demand for a Cabinet reshuffle, the Next Media deal to be rejected and a national affairs conference to be held.

“We have made the appeals so many times that our tongues are tired, but the president will not listen. That is why we are organizing this protest for the people to have their voices heard and to express their fury at the government’s poor performance,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said.

The DPP’s Central Standing Committee yesterday approved the plan for the protest, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said. The DPP hopes to attract more than 100,000 people from across the country to join the rally on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office on Jan. 13, he said.

The main mobilization area would be northern Taiwan, including Taipei, New Taipei City (新北市), Taoyuan County and Hsinchu County, Lin said.

The DPP is optimistic about the success of the demonstration because a recent survey conducted by the party’s polling center showed strong public support for the protest, he said.

The survey, conducted on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19, found that 59.2 percent of respondents supported the protest, while 27.4 percent said they could participate in it.

While a recent opinion poll showed that support rates for both the DPP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) were low, the DPP saw encouraging signs in its own survey, Lin said.

The DPP’s support rates have been higher than the KMT’s since October, the third time the DPP had fared better than the KMT in the past 12 years, Lin said.

The pan-green camp managed to beat the pan-blue camp in support rates only twice before — in the first half of 2002 and the second half of 2004, according to the DPP’s biannual tracking poll.

Lin played down the negative response to the protest from several DPP politicians, who said the demonstration would be meaningless if the party failed to present substantial policies to convince the people that the DPP would be a better ruling party if it returned to power.

The DPP had submitted corresponding policies and initiatives to Ma’s major and controversial policies, including the fuel and electricity price increase, the capital gains tax on security transactions, the health insurance premium increase plan and pension reform, but it has yet to receive a response from Ma, Lin said.