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Coalition government only way for nation: Tsai

Coalition government only way for nation: Tsai

Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen said Monday that a coalition government is the path the nation must follow despite the tremendous difficulty there would be setting such a system up. Tsai first broached the idea of forming a coalition government during a recent platform presentation. She followed by saying Sunday that if she is elected, the premier she appoints will "not necessarily be a DPP member" and adding that her proposal is based on "comprehensive and systematic thought" and will not target only the premiership. While canvassing Monday for voter support in Chiayi, southern Taiwan, Tsai was asked about her choice of premier if elected in Saturday's election, to which she responded that it is too early to talk about it. She noted the daunting challenges of consultations to form a coalition government, but said that "there must be a start, and I feel that's the only way for Taiwan." She asked President Ma Ying-jeou and the ruling Kuomintang not to be in a rush to criticize her coalition government proposal that she said would unite Taiwan. She said the coalition government would not be modeled after the "Tang Fei formula," but would be based on communication between the parties, cooperation between the legislative and executive branches, and dialogue between the government and the private sectors. She was referring to the DPP's attempt in 2000 to reach across the inter-party divide. At the time, newly elected DPP President Chen Shui-bian appointed Tang Fei, a former defense minister and KMT member, as premier. Tang resigned some 100 days later. The KMT and the DPP camps locked horns again Monday over the coalition proposal, with KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu describing Tsai's proposal as an election gambit and an attempt to cheat voters. Hung also said that past experience has shown that coalition governments in most countries have resulted in political instability. But Tsai Huang-liang , a DPP legislative caucus whip, said that judging from the current situation, whether it is the DPP or the KMT that wins over half of the seats in the 113-seat legislature, it will not be strong enough to stabilize the political situation. "The proposal is aimed at mitigating the domestic confrontation, solidifying Taiwan and ending the confrontation between the ideologies," Tsai said. Tsai said that looking back over the past 12 years, whether it was the minority DPP government or the absolute majority KMT government, the "winner takes all" election system has only resulted in heaping power on the president and creating a serious division between the ruling and opposition parties. Premier Wu Den-yih, President Ma Ying-jeou's running mate, said Tsai's proposal is a "pseudo issue" that will never take place. Wu said that since Ma assumed office in May 2008, he has repeatedly wanted to call on Tsai in a bid to solidify the views of the different parties , but has been rejected each time. (By Lin Sheng-shu, Lee Shu-hua, Hsieh Chia-chen and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-02-25 22:36 GMT+08:00