Lu urges Ma to step down over strife

‘INFLUENCE AND COLLABORATION’::A political analyst said the Ma-Wang conflict stemmed from Chinese pressure to pass the cross-strait service trade agreement

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 25, 2013 - Page 3

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday called on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to step down for violating the constitution in the ongoing political strife with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), while political analyst Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏) raised the specter of China’s involvement in the case.

Lu accused the president of infringing on the Constitution and said that with his approval rating plunging to a low of 9.2 percent at one point, “Ma should take the initiative and resign,” Lu told a forum organized by her office yesterday.

The forum was held to examine the current political situation amid political instability ignited by Ma and the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigation Division (SID) after they accused Wang of improper lobbying.

The SID and Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) have overstepped their authority in their investigation into the allegations, Lu said.

“However, Ma’s tolerance — and his suspected instruction — of the SID poses an even greater concern, as this means he has abused his party and government agencies for political gain at the expense of the constitutional mechanism,” Lu said.

She described Ma as a merciless politician who “expelled former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝)” from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), “jailed former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and is trying to remove Wang.”

Yang, a journalist-turned-political analyst, said that the conflict stems from the KMT infighting between Ma’s pro-China wing and Wang’s pro-localization faction.

“It seems to me that the fingerprints of Chinese influence and the collaboration between Ma and Beijing are all over the plot,” Yang said.

Yang said it is an open secret that Beijing has been pressuring the Ma administration to push for the passage of the cross-strait service trade agreement, which was signed in June, in the legislature.

Ma has also felt the pressure from China’s increased exchanges with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the past year and his low approval ratings, Yang said.

That is why Ma had to resort to all possible measures to remove Wang, who favored that the pact be screened clause-by-clause, he said.

“Ma has to step down for trying to court the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] as a friend, while making the DPP an enemy — something you would not see in a government anywhere else in the world,” he said.

Yang said everything had likely been planned well in advance, with Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) telling the CCP’s Political Consultative Conference chairman Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲) on Sept. 12, one day after the KMT revoked Wang’s membership, in China that the agreement “should clear the legislature with no problem.”

A meeting between Ma and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), and between Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) at the APEC Summit in Shanghai next year could be the next step of the plan, he said.

Huang’s connection with China, which he visited in 2009 and June 2011, was also suspicious, he said.

Huang indicted Lee for embezzlement two weeks after his return from China in 2011 — a move that was intended to undermine former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) presidential campaign, Yang said.