The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has yet to figure out why it lost this year’s presidential election and remains directionless almost one year later, independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said yesterday.
Koo, one of the most vocal heavyweights in the pro-independence camp, expressed his disappointment with the party in a speech delivered at an event organized by the Taiwan Association of University Professors.
“I waited for almost one year before expressing my views today. Did the DPP conduct a comprehensive review of the election to understand why it lost? From what I’ve seen, the party hasn’t changed and factionalism still dominates its Central Standing Committee,” the 87-year-old said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Koo also expressed a particular displeasure with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former party chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) in his 90-minute speech.
The DPP cannot possibly hope to regain the people’s trust by waiting for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to fail, Koo said, adding that the DPP’s approval rating remained low despite Ma’s own dismal 13 percent approval figures.
Koo praised Su’s efforts to visit local communities and reconnect with grassroots supporters, but criticized the party headquarters for “taking people’s support for granted and sitting idle amid Ma’s incompetence.”
The DPP should have been more vocal in its efforts to recall the president and amend the Constitution, he told the audience.
Regarding Tsai, Koo said her US affairs campaign team had been understaffed, with DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) serving as the sole aide. The campaign team had underestimated the importance of Tasi’s US visit, the mismanagement of which had significantly hurt her election bid, he said.
Koo said Hsieh’s remarks during his landmark visit to China in October were “inappropriate” and he disagreed with the former premier’s initiative of “one Constitution with different interpretations (憲法各表).”
“The DPP is the only hope Taiwanese have because the Taiwan Solidarity Union remains weak. The DPP has to keep up with the times and reignite people’s passion for politics,” Koo said.
Ma’s low approval rating reflects not only his “incompetence, carelessness and cold-bloodedness,” but also the people’s opposition to his administration, Koo said.
In terms of cross-strait relations, the senior politician said Beijing’s Taiwan strategy “has been a total failure” because anti-China sentiment among Taiwanese has increased.
“I boldly predict that China will not annex Taiwan by force because doing so could place its economy at risk of being hit by international economic sanctions,” he said.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
First-time politician Mai Yamada’s (山田摩衣) Japanese name has attracted attention in Chinese-language media after her win in the New Taipei City Council election on Saturday. Born to a Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-Japanese stood out after becoming one of nine elected city councilors in Banciao District (板橋) in the nation’s local government elections on Saturday. Although she has a Japanese name, she grew up and was educated in Taiwan, Yamada said, adding that “Taiwan is my home.” Before running for local government, Yamada, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, was Legislative Speaker You Si-kun’s (游錫堃) secretary. She has been involved in