Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday called on legislators to quickly pass a motion to impeach President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to protect Taiwanese sovereignty and uphold a government regulated by the Constitution.
Accompanied by former vice premier Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Cheng Pao-ching (鄭寶清), Lee Chen-nan (李鎮楠) and Kuo Jung-chung (郭榮宗), former National Security Council deputy secretary-general Parris Chang (張旭成) and Kuo Cheng-deng (郭正典) — one of the doctors in the all-volunteer medical group caring for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) — Lu announced at a press conference the founding of the Civilians to Impeach Ma Alliance.
Quoting Ma’s words during an anti-Chen rally on June 18, 2006, Lu said: “[When] the people, as the rulers of the country, take back the power [invested in the president], it is impeachment... Impeachment is not based on the prerequisite of the president having committed a crime .... if he is incompetent or cannot do his job, when his approval ratings are below 18 percent, it means the people no longer trust or respect him, and it is the time to take back [the] power.”
The protests erupted amid allegations that Chen had misused the state affairs fund and that former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) had accepted bribes in the form of department store vouchers.
The Taipei High Court later ruled that both Chen and Wu Shu-jen were guilty, but delayed sentencing until Chen had completed his term of office.
Lu said that with Ma’s approval ratings having fallen to a record-low of 9.2 percent — based on a public opinion poll conducted by EA Survey Research Center — he should heed his own words and step down from office.
However, the public cannot expect such a miracle, Lu said.
They must take a stand and impeach the president, she said.
The poll also showed that 80 percent of people no longer trust Ma, while less than 10 percent still have faith in him, Lu said, adding that Ma was “very, very close” to the low 8 percent approval rating that then-Russian president Boris Yeltsin had when he finally resigned from office.
Lu added that she was looking for a suitable location — which she hoped to announce by evening yesterday — where she could organize a rally lasting four days and four nights to call on Ma to resign.
Participants in the rally are advised to wear white to show their continuing support for the civic ideals espoused by the people who took to the streets on July 22 in protest against the government’s and the military’s handling of the death of army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘).
Hung died three days prior to finishing his mandatory military service, after collapsing from heat exhaustion allegedly caused by excessive punishment.
The results of the military investigation, which allowed Colonel Ho Chiang-chung (何江忠), former company commander Major Hsu Shin-cheng (徐信正) and Staff Sergeant Fan Tso-hsien (范佐憲) to remain free after posting bail, led to public protests and a revision of the military judicial system.
Lu called on the public to gather during the Mid-Autumn Festival on Thursday “dressed in white and force the tyrannical Ma to step down and save Taiwan.”