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Tsai Ing-wen: DPP must consolidate its hold in cities, counties

Tsai Ing-wen: DPP must consolidate its hold in cities, counties

DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen said Sunday that the DPP’s most important task this year is will be to consolidate its position in the thirteen cities and counties that it won in the November elections last year. She cautioned that the party’s achievements in the election mean more power, and the people and the media of Taiwan will be following the party’s every move as a result. She said this means the DPP must be very careful about how it handles its newly-won powers in order to avoid losing the people's trust.

Speaking at a meeting of the Tainan Association for Encouraging Progress in Taiwan, Tsai offered her outlook on the party’s prospects for the coming year and how it can take advantages of its gains in the recent elections.

Tsai began by looking back at the past few years and highlights like the tragic death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu and last year’s March student movement. She noted that voter dissatisfaction made itself known in the 9-in-1 elections as the DPP prevailed in 13 cities and counties. If Taipei City and independent candidate Ko Wen-je are included, she said, the Green Camp is now responsible for governing some 70% of the population of Taiwan, offering the DPP unprecedented opportunities in coming years.

Tsai noted that after the 9-in-1 elections the party was riding high, with a great deal of enthusiasm for its showing from north to south across the island. As for herself, Tsai said that despite the many victories she does not dare to relax. On the contrary, she said, she feels compelled to work harder to build support at the grassroots level and consolidate the gains the party has made in cities and counties throughout Taiwan.

Tsai noted that the party’s outstanding showing in November was heartening. At the same time, however, it is necessary for everyone in the party to work to assure that the wins do not go to waste. It would be very disappointing, she said, if even one city or county where the DPP holds control were to develop problems. She said the party must bear full responsibility for all areas where voters expressed their support.

Tsai pointed out that the DPP has set up a joint governance platform led by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu, one of the island’s most experienced and politically-qualified leaders. She noted that this platform will help ensure that Taiwan is governed well at the local level. As part of this, she said, some of the powers of the central government should be transferred to local governments. This means that local governments will also bear responsibility to the people for their actions.

Tsai told the audience that the DPP is working on two major projects, namely reform in the Legislative Yuan and the development of a new economic model for Taiwan. She explained that the Legislative Yuan has long been hamstrung by too much competition between the two major parties. This is a structurally problem that hinders progress in many different areas. Tsai said the ruling KMT has had control of many resources in the past but has failed to listen to the voices of the majority of people in Taiwan. This calls for reform in the Legislative Yuan as well as moves to protect the rights of smaller political parties in order to ensure that a diversity of opinions can be heard in government – including those of many civic groups and associations voicing their concerns on many issues.

Tsai said the DPP must be ready to take steps that will restore momentum to the island’s economy. In addition, the party should see that economic benefits are not monopolized by a few business consortia. The future for economic development in Taiwan should be built on the principles of "innovation, entrepreneurship and distribution" in an approach which will promote economic development as well as equitable distribution of the benefits. This includes making it possible for Taiwan’s hundreds of thousands of small and medium enterprises to make decent profits from their operations.

Updated : 2021-09-22 17:20 GMT+08:00