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Taiwan activists want to recall pro-Ma lawmakers

Taiwan activists want to recall pro-Ma lawmakers

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A group of activists from the cultural and environmental world called on the public Wednesday to join in the recall of lawmakers supportive of President Ma Ying-jeou.
The prominent activists from different walks of life held a news conference in Taipei to present their new association, the “Alliance for the Realization of Article 133 of the Constitution.” The article provides in the recall of legislators.
The Ma Administration’s performance had succeeded in angering the public, so the people should give a message and a warning to those lawmakers who only followed the president’s opinions and never listened to public opinion, the activists said.
In order to protect Taiwan’s democracy and to prevent the government from taking more steps backward, it was necessary to launch recall actions against the lawmakers closest to Ma, the activists said.
“Ma is starting fires everywhere, so if we don’t put them out, they will destroy Taiwan,” said author Feng Kuang-yuan, who had reportedly asked for two hours’ leave from hospital to speak at the meeting.
He said the public should not wait until the next presidential election in 2016 but take action now by changing lawmakers. The power of recall was present in the Constitution and should not be left aside unused like a toy, he said.
Feng acknowledged it would be difficult to put the power into practice because of the high threshold, but he said the cause was worth of achieving the first-ever successful recall in Taiwanese political history.
National Tsing Hua University honorary professor Peng Ming-huei lashed out at Ma’s suggestion that the interests of a small number of people had to be sacrificed for the greater good. The president was sacrificing almost half the people to benefit a small group who had more money than to know what to do with it, he said, adding that Taiwan had already entered an “era of oligarchy.”
Feng rejected allegations by ruling Kuomintang legislator Wu Yu-sheng, once a Ma spokesman, that the members of the new group were close to the opposition Democratic Progressive Party. Feng said he agreed with Wu that the campaign for recalls was a political struggle, because only a political struggle could make sure that bad lawmakers were removed from office.
The activists pointed out that the president had said that since the KMT had an absolute majority at the Legislative Yuan and controlled all levers of government, he would be totally responsible. Now was the time to let Ma know about responsibility and to recall those lawmakers also responsible for the wrongful policies of the past years, the leaders of the new alliance said.
If Taiwan had no lawmakers, life would be even better, some activists said, adding that they would also launch recall campaigns against DPP members if they thought the opposition lawmakers had not performed well.
The participants reportedly did not name any lawmakers they wanted to target with their recall efforts, though they said they would begin with election districts where at least the necessary 2 percent of voters signed up for their online recall petition.
Prominent political commentator Nan Fang Shuo, one of the leaders of the new alliance, said people should not assume a “Taiwan Spring” modeled on the “Arab Spring” revolutions in the Middle East would not be possible.
Public dissatisfaction with the government was so high that even a high threshold should not stop people from trying to launch recall campaigns, he said, adding that such action would form a civics lesson for the public at large.
Taiwan has the external signs of democracy such as elections and a Constitution, but it does not have the necessary interaction between the leaders and the public, the author said in an interview published by the Chinese-language United Evening News.


Updated : 2020-12-01 17:42 GMT+08:00