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Former US President Jimmy Carter cancels Taiwan trip because of KMT: DPP

Former US President Jimmy Carter cancels Taiwan trip because of KMT: DPP

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former United States President Jimmy Carter cancelled plans to observe the January 14 elections because the ruling Kuomintang did not want him to come, an opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker said Thursday.
Chai Trong-rong, a senior DPP legislator with close links to the U.S., said he wanted to invite Carter to observe the achievements of Taiwanese democracy.
Because the former president does not want to act as a representative for any specific political party, Chai said he decided to turn the invitation into a bipartisan effort and ask the re-election campaign headquarters of President Ma Ying-jeou to join in.
Since no reply came to his first letter sent on November 29, Chai said he wrote a second one. The Ma campaign’s reply came this week and was negative, he said.
Reacting to Chai’s news conference, the Ma campaign said Thursday that there was no precedent for a sitting president to invite a former foreign head of state to come and witness elections in Taiwan. It would be more fitting if a private group invited Carter to observe the polls, the Ma campaign said.
Chai put the blame squarely on Ma. The DPP lawmaker said inviting Carter would raise Taiwan’s international profile. Carter had visited at least 85 countries to witness democracy in action, he said.
Thursday also saw the formation of an International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan chaired by Peng Ming-min, the DPP candidate in the first-ever direct democratic election in 1996. His then-KMT rival, ex-President Lee Teng-hui, serves as honorary chairman but was absent from the official launch because of health problems.
Peng warned Taiwan about Chinese interference in its elections and domestic politics. Overseas members of the committee will form a delegation to observe the January 14 elections.


Updated : 2021-11-27 08:38 GMT+08:00