The public should join a protest on Sunday to demand that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) hold a national affairs conference to resolve the various crises facing the nation, pro-independence groups said yesterday.
The organizations, including the Taiwan National Alliance, Taiwan Solidarity Union, the Taiwan Association of University Professors and the Taipei Shue-tan-tan Sister Alliance, issued the call at a press conference in Taipei.
The Ma administration is directionless, putting the nation in peril as the economy plummets from leading the four “Asian Tigers” to being in last place and doing worse economically than the Philippines, Taiwan Friends Association president Huang Kun-hu (黃崑虎) said.
“It is time to make a stand, to let the government know that the Taiwanese people are angry,” Huang said.
While Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) last week said his party would call off the rally if Ma met the party’s three demands — reshuffling the Cabinet, rejecting the controversial Next Media Group deal and holding a national affairs conference — the pro-independence groups said that the rally should not be used to vent political discontent or as a bargaining chip against the government.
However, they suggested that three appeals be added to the list for Sunday: to impeach the president, abolish the preferential interest rate on the savings of military personnel, civil servants and teachers, and allow a paper to be founded by the public.
Meanwhile, Su visited the Taipei Municipal Drivers’ Trade Union to seek the support of its leaders for Sunday’s protest.
The more people take to the streets, the more pressure will be brought to bear on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to adjust its policies, Su said.
Only by demonstrating their power would people have their opinions heard by the government, Su said, citing as an example the decision by KMT legislators on Wednesday to support a DPP proposal to revise three laws related to radio and TV broadcasting.
At a news conference in Taipei earlier in the day, DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said the KMT administration, which had promised in 2008 to bring a bright future to the nation, was now rotten from top to bottom.
Lin also urged the public to join the protest to show their dissatisfaction with the KMT government by joining the rally, adding that the theme of the protest is the public “want a livelihood, want reforms, want democracy.”