Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members yesterday criticized Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus members who called President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) “Taiwan’s Hitler” and compared her to Tang Dynasty Empress Wu Zetian (武則天).
The KMT caucus on Tuesday abstained on a legislative vote for Judicial Yuan president and opposed the nomination of three Council of Grand Justices members. It then held a news conference outside the legislative chamber, accusing Tsai of moving to centralize government authority.
“Led by President Tsai, Taiwan’s political environment is now close to entering a rule by ‘Taiwan’s Hitler’ and Empress Wu Zetian,” said KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), who was accompanied by other KMT legislators.
Sufin accused Tsai of working to dominate the Executive Yuan, dictating to the Legislative Yuan and manipulating the Judicial Yuan, saying that the “Tsai administration is turning into a far-right authoritarian regime.”
DPP legislators criticized the comments, saying it was absurd and highly inappropriate to compare Tsai to Adolf Hitler and liken Taiwan’s transitional justice and democracy to that of Nazi Germany.
“These comments by some KMT officials show that in their hearts and minds they are still living in the Martial Law era, with their police state mentality and internal security agents pervading through society to suppress and persecute citizens,” DPP Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) said in an interview with the Taipei Times.
He said the process of nominating Judicial Yuan and grand justice candidates had been open and democratic, with the nominees undergoing a Legislative Yuan review, which involved the nominees presenting their views on a range of legal and social issues.
“After that a vote was held, in which a majority of legislators approved the nominees for the Judicial Yuan and the Council of Grand Justices. The vote reflected the public’s will and our nation’s new political reality, as legislators were elected to represent their constituencies and the public wanted reform of the judiciary,” said Tsai Yi-yu, who is a member of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.
“The KMT’s accusation had no basis whatsoever, and was quite outrageous,” Tsai Yi-yu said. “They are trying to smear a democratic process in the legislature, because they want to resist judicial reform. The public will not be deceived by the KMT on these groundless charges.”
DPP Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) said that by comparing Tsai Ing-wen to Hitler, the KMT has not only disgraced itself, but it will surely be laughed at by the international community.
“Looking at Taiwan’s history, I find it funny that the KMT would talk about the government turning into a right-wing dictatorship, as it would know more about that than anyone else [in Taiwan],” he said.
“It was strange to me that they did not make the comparison to Chinese President Xi Jinping [習近平],” Wang said. “Is it because the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party are now bedfellows? Can KMT officials tell me if China under Xi has a democratic process to nominate grand justices and judges to their highest courts, or if their process can stand up to open public scrutiny?”
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