The pro-Taiwanese independence Formosa Alliance (喜樂島聯盟) yesterday started a new life as a political party and announced that it would take part in next year’s presidential and legislative elections.
The alliance was established in April last year to campaign for a Taiwanese independence referendum.
At a news conference in Taipei announcing its reorganization into a political party, the Reverend Lo Jen-kuei (羅仁貴) said the purpose of the party is not to sow division in the pan-green camp, but is for people who are dissatisfied with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and looking for “better options” in the elections on Jan. 11 next year.
The party plans to field at least 10 legislative candidates, Lo said, but added that it has not made any plans to nominate a presidential candidate.
Lo was elected chairman by alliance members, who also elected 15 executive members.
Lo appointed National Dong Hwa University professor Shih Cheng-feng (施正鋒) as the party’s deputy chairman.
Lo said that being a party chairman had not been part of his life plan, but he decided to “go all-out” because of the ideals he shared with the late reverend Kao Chun-ming (高俊明) of the Presbyterian Church.
As one of the signatories of the Human Rights Declaration issued by the church in 1977, Kao, who passed away in February, believed that Taiwan’s future should be decided by all Taiwanese, Lo said.
“Taiwanese have expectations from us to make Taiwan a nation with statehood, human rights and dignity — a normalized country, and the party will not let them down,” Lo said.
Expressing concern that the DPP would not fare well in the elections, he said that if the pan-blue camp obtains a legislative majority, it would be “Taiwan’s greatest disaster yet.”
He called on people who “detest the DPP” and those who “truly love Taiwan” to vote for the Formosa Alliance, so that the party could provide checks and balances at the Legislative Yuan.
Asked if the party would support President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) re-election bid if she ran on a joint ticket with former premier William Lai (賴清德), Lo said it would welcome a Tsai-Lai ticket if it could get them elected, as it would be beneficial for Taiwanese.
However, the Formosa Alliance would only lend its support to Tsai if her vision aligned with that of the party, he said, adding that if she continues to “oppress and limit those who truly care about Taiwan,” it might not back her.
Citing the DPP’s indifference toward a referendum last year that asked people if they agreed that the national team should compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the name “Taiwan” rather than “Chinese Taipei,” Shih dismissed the DPP as a “lousy agent” for Taiwanese independence that exploits the brand, but is not doing anything to achieve the goal.
It was “outrageous” for the DPP to change the rules for its presidential primary and pass amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) decoupling referendums from national elections, he added.
Separately, former premier Yu Shyi-kun of the DPP said pro-independence parties should act in the nation’s best interests and work toward making Taiwan a normalized country.
Taiwan’s fate hinges on next year’s presidential election and he hopes the Formosa Alliance will not act in a way that runs counter to its vision, he added.
Additional reporting by Huang Hsin-po and Peng Wan-hsin
SWITCH TO BEIJING: The government severed diplomatic relations about an hour after Honduras announced the move, saying that no semi-official ties would be maintained Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Honduras and ended all cooperation with the Central American country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, about an hour and a half after the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter at 8am Taiwan time that the nation would cut its ties with Taiwan. Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Wednesday sent Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina to Beijing to negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations. She announced the plan on March 14 on Twitter. “To safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, Taiwan is terminating diplomatic ties with Honduras with immediate effect” after communication with
TRADE MISSION: After Fijian elections in December last year, pro-democratic parties formed a coalition and overruled a name change imposed by the former government The Taipei Trade Office in Fiji has been restored to its former name, the Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Republic of Fiji, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Fiji on Friday last week issued a note verbale to the office saying that the name change was retroactively effective from March 15, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Director-General Wallace Chow (周民淦) told a news conference in Taipei. The mission’s diplomatic privileges have been reinstated as stipulated in Fiji’s Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act, which was enacted in 1971, Chow said. Taiwan set up a trade
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday departed for a 12-day trip to China as scheduled, despite calls for him to cancel the trip after Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as an apparent result of China’s dollar diplomacy. “This is my first trip to China. I was 37 when I began handling cross-strait affairs in the government. Now I am 73 and have waited 36 years for the visit. It is indeed a bit too long, but I am glad I can go,” Ma of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) told reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. “Aside from paying respects to
‘INDISPENSABLE ROLE’: Despite stopovers in the US, Tsai said the aim of her trip is to ‘demonstrate determination to deepen exchanges’ with the allies of the nation President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday afternoon left Taiwan on a 10-day trip to Central America that includes stopovers in New York and Los Angeles. “Through this visit, I will express my gratitude to diplomatic partners for their support of Taiwan,” Tsai said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport shortly before boarding the plane. The trip to Guatemala and Belize — her first overseas journey since the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping around the world in early 2020 — aims to “demonstrate Taiwan’s determination to deepen exchanges” with its Central American allies, she said. Tsai said that she and her delegation would also explore the possibility