KMT prepares counteroffense ahead of DPP’s rally

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said it will strengthen the promotion of government achievements, dismissing the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) planned rally on Sunday, and urging the DPP to replace its strategy of street protests with dialogue with the government.

The DPP will hold its “Fury” (火大) mass rally on Sunday against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, while the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) pledged to support the protest and called for the public to participate.

The KMT has responded by stepping up its efforts to defend the government’s performance in boosting the economy, improving public safety and promoting the tourism industry by placing advertisements in newspapers and on its Facebook page.

The KMT cited official statistics to compare the government’s performance with the situation during the former DPP administration. KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said the number of foreign tourists, for example, reached 7.3 million last year, while in 2006, there were only 3.5 million.

The number of cases of drunk-driving had been reduced from 130,000 in 2007 to 110,000 last year, and the number of fatalites in such incidents dropped from 576 to 439, which greatly improved public safety, he said.

“The government figures show that Su, who served as a premier in the former DPP government, and the DPP did not present solid performance when they were in power. So, what are they furious about now?” Yin said.

Although DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has said the rally would be called off if Ma met three demands — reshuffle the Cabinet, reject the controversial Next Media Group buyout deal and hold a national affairs conference — the KMT has tried to downplay the rally, with Ma and KMT officials declining to discuss Su’s demands.

Yin slammed the DPP for rallying against the government for no solid reason and failing to provide solutions to issues it has raised.

Meanwhile, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) demanded Cabinet officials provide a quick response to appeals to be raised by the DPP at Sunday’s rally to let the public know about the steps the government has taken.

He instructed the Executive Yuan spokesman and officials with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Council for Economic Planning and Development to explain in details the government’s policies.

“[We should] let the people have a full understanding of the government’s policies so that they would not be misled [by the DPP],” he said.

Chen reiterated the directives he issued late last month that the National Police Agency should ensure that the demonstration adhere to the law and do not disrupt the public order or the flow of traffic.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan