Tuesday, July 29, 2014

EDITORIAL: Implications of Taipei mayoral race

Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - Page 8

It would not be surprising if the public feels as if the Taipei mayoral campaign has been going on forever.

First there was the raucous and prolonged Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) primary, which resulted in the selection of an independent candidate backed by the pan-green camp’s Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). However, the nine-in-one elections to be held on Nov. 29 are still four months away.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Priorities for legislative session differ

NOMINEES V ELECTIONS:Passage of the Control Yuan nominations tops the KMT’s list for the second extraordinary session, while the DPP is prioritizing an election-related bill
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have different priorities in the extraordinary two-week legislative session that opens to today, with the KMT likely to focus on passing the review of Control Yuan nominees

The review tops the 18-item agenda proposed by the KMT, followed by a special statute on governing the free economic pilot zones and a statute on oversight of the cross-strait agreements.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Penghu Crash: DPP legislator calls for commissioner to vacate position

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

On Wednesday, Penghu Commissioner Wang Chien-fa (王乾發) was lambasted for a planned visit to China that critics said showed a disregard for the potential damage to lives and properties caused by Typhoon Matmo, which brought fierce winds and torrential rain to the nation, and caused 17 injuries between late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Wang’s scheduled trip to Shenzhen, in China’s Guangdong Province, was not discovered until the commissioner was found taking the first flight back to Penghu yesterday morning after a plane crash in the county killed 48 passengers and injured 10 on Wednesday night.

Chen Chu leads in poll on Kaohsiung: ‘China Times’

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), who is seeking re-election, enjoys a lead of almost 40 percentage points over Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興), a public opinion poll released yesterday showed.

In a rematch between Chen, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and Yang, who ran against Chen four years ago, the mayor routed Yang 58.7 percent to 19.1 percent in the latest survey by the Want Want China Times poll center, the Chinese-language China Times reported yesterday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Stop criticizing Tsai, Chen says

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is asking his supporters to stop criticizing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for not seeking medical parole for him, the spokesperson of his private medical team said.

“[Chen] asked me to stop criticizing Tsai in my articles and public comments. He said that while he did not think what I did was a mistake, it would be better to stop criticizing Tsai and calling for people to cast spoilt ballots in the presidential election in 2016,” Janice Chen (陳昭姿), the spokesperson, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday night after visiting the former president in the prison hospital in Greater Taichung earlier that day.

Ko’s campaign to review hiring, amid controversy

By Chris Wang and Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporters

The campaign office of independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) pledged to review the hiring of a substitute services military draftee as the office’s information technology adviser after a media outlet reported the controversial move yesterday.

Yen Yi-cheng (顏易程), a draftee of the three-year research and development substitute services, has been working as an aide to Ko in charge of the campaign office’s Internet services and security system, the Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

EDITORIAL: Freezing the independence clause

Tue, Jul 22, 2014 - Page 8

For the time being, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is able to evade the controversial proposal to freeze the party’s Taiwan independence clause after DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) sent it to the party’s Central Executive Committee for further discussion at the party congress on Sunday.

Rest assured that the issue is set to cause infighting and fiery debate within the party in the future. When it comes to independence, things have always been complex.

Initiators of independence clause hail Tsai’s decision

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Initiators of the controversial proposal to freeze the Taiwan independence clause in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) charter yesterday said that DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) reserving the proposal for future discussion was a “wise decision.”

“[Tsai’s handling of the proposal] was good for the party... I respect her move. It was a wise decision,” former DPP legislator Chen Zau-nan (陳昭南), who drafted the proposal with former DPP legislator Julian Kuo (郭正亮), told a radio interview hosted by Clara Chou (周玉蔻).

Ko defends policy on public housing

‘CAN’T DO’ ATTITUDE:The independent candidate rejected Sean Lien’s criticism that the policy was not feasible, saying his rival lacks the determination to tackle the issue
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that his campaign platform on public housing, which aims to build 50,000 rent-only units in the city, is “workable” and that his main rival’s criticism shows “his unwillingness to tackle the housing issue.”

“Public housing is a difficult task, but a mayor has to have the determination to resolve it and has to be at least aggressive,” Ko said during a campaign stop at the Social Housing Advocacy Consortium, in response to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Sean Lien’s (連勝文) campaign office statement that Ko’s plan was not feasible.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tsai’s allies make gains at DPP congress

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) leadership for the next two years took shape yesterday during elections at the annual congress as DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) gained an ability to influence the party’s power structure for the first time.

Tsai, who neither established her own alliance nor became affiliated with any grouping when she served as chairperson between 2008 and 2012, yesterday saw allies voted onto the party’s key decisionmaking bodies — the Central Executive Committee and the Central Standing Committee.

DPP’s Tsai evades charter clause fight

COMMITTEE CURVE BALL:Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen headed off contentious debate by pushing a raft of policy proposals to a committee
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday sent all the proposals in the national party congress regarding the DPP’s China policy, including the widely discussed freezing of its Taiwan independence clause, to the party’s Central Executive Committee without discussion, defusing potential tension surrounding the issue despite drawing criticism from party members.

Citing time constraints, Tsai, who presided over the meeting, proposed to send the initiatives to the committee because there was “not enough time left for a thorough discussion over the much-disputed and important issue regarding changing the party charter.”

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DPP optimistic about Taichung election chances

CHANGHUA DEAL?The party visited the father of an independent hopeful in the county to discuss a partnership, but said it still thinks its candidate can win
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it was cautiously optimistic about the Greater Taichung mayoral election in November, with the party’s candidate, DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), leading incumbent Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) by almost 20 percentage points in the party’s latest survey.

“In a poll conducted by the DPP three days ago, Lin enjoyed a comfortable lead of 48 percent to Hu’s 29 percent. Moreover, 45.3 percent of respondents favored Lin as the winner, with only 29.6 percent picking Hu, who is seeking re-election,” DPP spokesperson Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said.

DPP mulls independence clause

FREEZE ENOUGH:In response to protests, Chen Zau-nan said that the nation has been independent ever since it began democratic elections, so declaring it is not an issue
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Debate among Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members over whether the party should freeze the Taiwan independence clause in its charter arose again yesterday ahead of a party congress to be held on Sunday.

A group of pro-independence advocates expressed strong opposition to a proposal to freeze the clause by protesting in front of the DPP’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday and called for the proposal’s initiators, former DPP legislators Julian Kuo (郭正亮) and Chen Zau-nan (陳昭南), to resign from the party.

Ko Wen-je trying to recruit Yao Li-ming for campaign

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday confirmed that he has been trying to recruit political commentator Yao Li-ming (姚立明) as his campaign director to widen the appeal of his efforts to lead the capital, which he says will focus on garnering non-partisan support.

Responding to a report by Chinese-language newspaper the Apple Daily, Ko told reporters that he had offered Yao, a professor in Chinese Culture University’s Department of Public Administration and Management, the position, but no decision has been made yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Annette Lu vows pursuit of anti-plant referendum

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said she would not give up her effort to initiate a local referendum to stop the installation of fuel rods in the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant if her appeal is rejected by the Taipei High Administrative Court next month.

Lu filed a provisional injunction in January after the Executive Yuan’s Referendum Review Committee in May last year rejected a proposal regarding the plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).