Alexa

DPP prepares for mass rally against Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou

DPP prepares for mass rally against Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As the Democratic Progressive Party was continuing to prepare for a massive protest against President Ma Ying-jeou on January 13, Premier Sean Chen called on the opposition Friday to put dialogue above confrontation.
The main aims for the protest were the replacement of Chen’s Cabinet following his mishandling of the economy, the rejection of the takeover of Next Media’s Taiwan media by local pro-Chinese tycoons and the calling of a National Affairs Conference to solve serious financial problems, the DPP said.
Chen told reporters he hoped the opposition party could return to conduct dialogue within the system rather than organize street protests, though he added he did not dispute its constitutional right to hold gatherings and demonstrations.
With the poor state of the economy one of the main topics for the January 13 protest, Chen denied that one of Ma’s key promises from his first presidential election race in 2008 could not become reality.
A new development plan from the government put economic growth for the next few years at around 4.5 percent, which clashes with the promise of 6 percent once made by Ma in his ‘633 plan.’ He had promised at least 6 percent annual economic growth, less than 3 percent unemployment and annual income at US$30,000 (NT$870,000). When all three elements failed to come true, Ma said they were meant to be reached by the end of his second and final term in power, in 2016.
However, Chen said Friday that circumstances now were very different from when the promises were first made in 2008. Both the domestic and international economic environment had drastically changed, the premier said.
Most forecasts for this year predict the Gross Domestic Product will grow by barely 1 percent, while 3.8 percent is one of the most optimistic figures for next year.
The DPP said it was expecting at least 100,000 people to turn up for its protest event which will culminate on Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building. For the past few weeks, the opposition party has already been staging local rallies in preparation.
The massive marches and rallies will give the public an opportunity to vent their anger at the Ma Administration’s incompetence and inability to straighten up Taiwan in the face of economic crisis, financial bankruptcy and increasing Chinese influence, the DPP said.
The logo for the protest is a flame with the Chinese characters for ‘fire’ and ‘big,’ which together mean ‘fury.’ The people are angry at President Ma because he still hasn’t been listening to the public, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said.
Soon after his reelection with more than 50 percent of the vote last January, Ma started pushing for the lifting of a ban on the import of beef from the United States treated with the lean-meat drug ractopamine. Later he also announced hikes in electricity and oil prices and a new capital gains tax for shares.
At the same time, his image as a clean politician was damaged by alleged corruption scandals surrounding a former Cabinet secretary-general, the Nantou County magistrate and a former National Fire Agency chief.
As a result, his opinion poll standings have plummeted to around 13 percent, with the ratings of his Cabinet members falling to similar lows.


Updated : 2020-12-03 07:00 GMT+08:00