Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Greater Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Yang Chiu-hsing’s (楊秋興) legal team convener Hung Tiau-ken (洪條根) has called on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to resign and step down as KMT chairman to reverse the party’s declining electoral support.
The Chinese-language China Times on Tuesday reported that Hung had chosen “the day before Republic of China founding father Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) birthday” — which was yesterday — to release an open letter attacking Ma for his poor performance and holding him accountable for the KMT’s slumping poll numbers, especially those of KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文).
Hung cited “six major faults” he says Ma has committed in office.
First on the list is what Hung said has been Ma’s failure to rein in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) legislative boycotts, despite the KMT continuing to hold the legislative majority.
The second fault was having Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), a KMT legislator-at-large, nominated a third time as speaker, violating the party’s rule restricting legislators-at-large from being nominated as speaker for more than two terms.
Relying on Wang, “regardless of how people view it,” but then later waging an internal party battle against the speaker over influence-peddling allegations was another misstep by Ma, Hung said.
The fourth was the way Ma dealt with the uproar over the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) in July last year, which was to “impulsively abrogate the military law that is the foundation of the armed forces’ discipline and military power,” the lawyer said.
Scrapping end-of-year bonuses for retired civil servants, military personnel and teachers — “something even [former president] Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) did not dare to do” — was Ma’s fifth major mistake, Hung Tiau-ken said.
The sixth criticism involved Ma’s handling of last spring’s Sunflower movement and the occupation of the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber for 24 days.
Ma “makes a mockery of [the nation] in the eyes of the world,” while at the same time he “considers [Taiwan] to be superior and gave lessons to China on its democracy, but in the end is humiliated by the Chinese government as a ‘local government head,’” Hung Tiau-ken said.
He said Ma has cost the KMT the support of the “most loyal of the blue camp’s electoral base” and urged the president to “engage in self-reflection” and understand that “his endorsement would only cost candidates votes.”
According to the China Times, Yang’s campaign headquarters denied having prior knowledge of Hung Tiau-ken’s letter and the lawyer said he wrote it as a private citizen, not on behalf of the campaign.
This is not the first time that Hung Tiau-ken has called on Ma to step down.
In an interview with Hong Kong’s China Review that was quoted by China’s Global Times last month, he advised Ma to “retreat while he could still earn accolades by doing so.”
He was also quoted as saying that he disapproved of “Ma’s acting superior to mainland China and Hong Kong with Taiwanese-style democracy, which sucks.”
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