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Chu slams Ma policies

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Kuomintang presidential candidate Eric Liluan Chu on Wednesday criticized three of President Ma Ying-jeou’s policies, leading observers to wonder whether he was distancing himself from the unpopular head of state.
The KMT nominated Chu as its candidate for the January 16 election earlier this month, but he is facing an uphill task with most polls still showing a considerable lead for opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen.
In a radio interview, Chu was faced with the question of whether he thought Ma had failed to provide leadership.
The candidate replied by quoting at least three of the president’s policies which he said had angered many members of the public. When he served as vice premier, a proposal for a stock income tax was vetoed within ten minutes, but the government later nevertheless still introduced the tax to everybody’s surprise, Chu said.
Education reform with 12-year compulsory education at its core was another example of a policy which caused a lot of dissatisfaction, mostly from parents who faced difficulties and students who were still bothered by an excessive amount of examinations, reports said.
Chu’s third example was the Ma Administration’s hike of utility rates, including water and electricity. He said he did not oppose rate increases, but the timing of Ma’s hikes was poorly handled, coming at a time when oil prices were already high as well.
After Ma resigned from the KMT chairmanship to take responsibility for last November’s disastrous local election results, Chu was elected as new ruling party leader. When Legislative Vice Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu saw her poll ratings as presidential candidate fail to take flight, the KMT organized a congress on October 17 which nominated Chu as its new contender.
Opinion surveys still put Chu between 15 and 30 percent behind Tsai, though he is hoping to improve the KMT’s performance in the elections for the Legislative Yuan, which also take place on January 16.

Updated : 2021-09-23 02:04 GMT+08:00