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DPP ex-Chair Tsai Ing-wen denies calling Taiwan President

Tsai never phoned Ma about National Affairs Conference: Office

DPP ex-Chair Tsai Ing-wen denies calling Taiwan President

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen denied media reports Tuesday that she had phoned President Ma Ying-jeou about her wish for a meeting to discuss an eventual National Affairs Conference.
Last week, Tsai renewed her proposal from last year for Ma to call an NAC to discuss the nation’s key problems, including reform of the military, the fate of the fourth nuclear plant and the review of trade pacts with China.
The president initially agreed to a meeting to discuss the NAC idea, but Tsai later reportedly said he should first call a stop to work on the fourth nuclear plant in Gongliao, New Taipei City, as a gesture of sincerity.
Her office issued a denial Tuesday that she had called Ma before his Sunday departure for a 12-day foreign trip insisting on a halt to the nuclear project as the precondition for a meeting.
Tsai had never called Ma to discuss the topic and the president should immediately apologize if he was the source of the report, the statement from the former opposition leader’s office said. It also demanded a correction and an apology from the Chinese-language Liberty Times, which said the report came from a person quoting comments by Ma at a banquet in New York.
The Presidential Office said Tuesday Ma had never mentioned the topic at the event.
DPP lawmaker Chen Chi-mai called for faster action, describing an NAC as necessary to defuse the gridlock now paralyzing Taiwan’s political scene. The nation’s largest opposition party could use the conference to tell the public what it wanted and what should happen next, he said.
The DPP should ally itself with civil society to push through general reforms and improvements in policies, with the NAC as one of the best possible ways to break the deadlock, Chen said.
DPP legislator Lee Chun-yi said the original idea for the NAC was really an attempt by younger opposition politicians to extend an olive branch to an administration which had lost its ability to govern.
Another DPP lawmaker, Tuan Yi-kang, voiced his approval for the holding of an NAC but said none of the possible topics should be put forward as a precondition. The opposition first needed to draw up a strategy and a timetable, but Tsai was trying to move too fast, Tuan said. He suggested that the government should promise not to hold a vote at the Legislative Yuan about a nuclear referendum as long as an NAC had not discussed the topic.
Attempts by the ruling Kuomintang to force through the approval of a question for the referendum failed after the DPP and its allies occupied the podium at the Legislative Yuan during its second special summer session. The KMT wants to hold a third special session, but the DPP wants to wait until regular legislative work resumes in mid-September.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, a senior member of the KMT, said potential participants in the NAC should not set preconditions. He added that he approved of talks and deeper understanding between ruling camp and opposition. The mayor said he had accepted an invitation from the DPP to attend a seminar later this month evaluating the eight-year rule of President Chen Shui-bian. Hau served as Environmental Protection Administration minister in the Chen Administration for a short while.


Updated : 2021-08-06 01:34 GMT+08:00