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Dec. 5th County and City Elections
DPP Press Conference
The following is the full text of Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen’s comments at the press conference.
“I would like to first offer my sincere thanks to the people who voted for the DPP today. You [the voters] made the right choice. Every vote represented a vote of encouragement and it also gave us the strength to move forward. I guarantee that we will work even harder in the future.
“In this election, the DPP’s three incumbent candidates were successfully re-elected. In addition, the DPP once again regained the administration of Ilan County. In regards to the support rate, there was a considerable increase from the past elections (the support rate of the county and city election four years ago was 38.2% and 39.5% in last year’s presidential election). This time, the DPP achieved approximately 45% to 46% of support rate. Even though we lost some counties and cities, the difference between each opponent was very close.
“For the DPP, this represents a positive result, which is also an important step forward for a renewed DPP. We must make special attention that with the KMT’s frequent vote-buying and smearing campaign, the disproportional amount of resources and party assets, we fought an ‘asymmetric battle’. With this kind of improvement, we won a hard-earned victory, representing that society is reaffirming their support for the DPP in local governance and their approval of our reform and reflective spirit.
“We will take the most humble approach to welcome this new result. Especially, the victory in Ilan County is of great significance because it shows us that the people are ready to trust us again and that the DPP is able to regain its passion and earn more self-confidence.
“However, this election result is only a small step, and we must not remain self-complacent. We took the right step to rebound from the bottom, but we have not gathered enough strength to shake the entire pan-blue structure. There is still a long way ahead to achieve our goals.
“I would like to emphasize that unity is how the DPP has been able to get through this difficult period, and in the future, we must remain even more united. The road to the future is still far ahead and we must treasure this progress in order to achieve the next victory.
“The most significant factor in this election is the vote of no-confidence towards the Ma administration during this past year. It doesn’t matter that the KMT is trying to separate government efficiency with election results because even with their majority governance, they weren’t able to increase their seats. In the past year, the failure of its economic policies, the damage to our country’s dignity and the incompetence of senior government officials have exceeded the limits of what the people are willing to accept. We believe that the KMT must carefully interpret the results of this election and understand the message that the people are sending them. If Ma’s administration continues to separate itself from the people, relying on financial resources and factional politics to buy elections, the people will respond with an even larger-scale backlash.
“Finally, we must thank all the people that came out to help in this election, including Former Chairpersons Lin, Hsieh, Su, You, Vice President Lu and our legislators. This election achievement was the result of a united front. Without unity, there is no victory. Solidarity is the party’s energy for progress.”
The DPP: Consistently Progressive
DPP Statement from the October 18 National Party Congress
After going through more than a year of hard lessons, the roughest period the DPP has faced since our founding, we are moving away from past setbacks and starting off with new and solid steps. In the DPP’s 23 year history, we experienced victories and defeats, but relying on the power of reflection, we haven’t given up, despite our ups and downs, on our consistently progressive spirit.
Being consistent progressives is our only road to success. We must have confidence in our ability to be modern day revolutionaries. We must have the faith and mission of social movements. We must use our ability to think rationally and persuasively to break out of the old blue and green straightjackets and focus our society’s energy, and we must be leaders and not simply parrot nice words. This requires selflessness and a spirit of sacrifice.
At the same time, we must keep preserving our ideals, tolerance, discipline, cooperation, confidence and diversity. We must be able to convince the public that the DPP is a stabilizing force for Taiwan – the most reliable political team and Taiwan’s most loyal defender.
When preparing for this task, we must acknowledge that achieving political power means carrying out societal change, and not the enjoyment of power. If we cannot acknowledge this and forget the basic principles of “Honesty, Diligence, and Love for our Native Land”, we are no different that the KMT.
Standing on the platform of “Honesty, Diligence and Love for our Native Land”, we can set in practice the DPP’s ultimate values, which are: securing Taiwan, societal change and care for the people:
- We must ensure that, given the volatile international situation in which Taiwan finds itself, we protect the independent development and the dignity of our country, maintaining our power to have critical influence and absolutely refusing to tilt towards China.
- We must let Taiwan’s democratic system gain strength and consolidation. We must allow fair political competition, allowing the achievement of direct people’s power, provide for balance between the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan and for the judicial process to become independent without any political interference.
- We must allow for Taiwan to become modernized with a competitive governing system. We must grant local governments fair distribution of resources and the autonomy to fulfill their responsibilities, and we must also improve local government competitiveness.
- We must empower Taiwan to achieve fair and sound economic governance that is capable of sustaining long-term durable economic and industrial strategies, clarifying China’s role and weight in Taiwan’s economic development. This plan would transform Taiwan into a modernized welfare state that is capable of fairly distributing financial resources and protecting disadvantaged groups at the same time.
Even though the KMT’s failures have led people to be disappointed, we must fully understand that this does not necessarily mean a transfer of the people’s support towards the DPP. The people expect the DPP bring a measure of hope and good guidance, to move Taiwan along the right path and do so with honesty and competence. This time we must seize the opportunity to prove our worth and not let this fleeting opportunity slip away.
Under the Ma administration, the people have already suffered greatly. The DPP vows to take on these challenges and to continue moving in a progressive direction, to prove itself once again capable, putting an end to chaos and injustice, bringing back a happy Taiwan for our people, a Taiwan that is a country filled with hope.
Democratic Progressive Party Statement Concerning
The September 11 verdict of former President Chen
1. Taiwan is a democratic country and in dealing with former President Chen’s case, the judicial process should be objective and follow legal principles, avoiding any subjective political bias, in order to safeguard Taiwan’s democratic values. We can see that during this first trial the process contained flaws and disputes, such as the extended pre-trial detention and the changing of judges, clearly in violation of procedural justice. Given such procedural flaws and controversies, such a heavy sentence confirms doubts from the outside and makes it hard to convince people that the judicial process is trustworthy.
2. The same judge presided over the cases of former President Chen’s state affairs fund and then-Mayor Ma Ying-jeou’s special affairs fund. Former President Chen was given a sentence of life imprisonment while President Ma was found not-guilty. It is difficult for the public to accept such an inconsistency in the outcome of the two verdicts.
3. The DPP maintains expectations of the overall judicial system, but it expresses its deep regret concerning the trial process and outcome. The DPP supports former President Chen’s defense of his legal rights in the appeal and upcoming legal procedures. At the same time, we also expect that the unfairness and errors of the first trial will be closely supervised and corrected during the appeal process.
4. The DPP believes that there is no necessity to detain former President Chen after this first trial. We demand an end to his detention, so as allow him to exercise his full legal rights and prepare for his defense.
5. In regards to the selection of judges for the appeal, we ask the High Court to be transparent and open, in accordance with the law and under the supervision of the public.
6. We appeal to all, especially the ruling party, not to attempt to exploit the case of former President Chen to turn the public spotlight away from government incompetence. We also appeal to the outside world to avoid provocative remarks that would deepen the emotional antagonisms of the public.
7. Whether standing for or against former President Chen, one must honestly point out that the proceedings of the judicial system contained defects, which allowed political interference in the judicial system as well as the prejudiced sentencing by the judges. In addition, we also saw the continued detention of former President Chen causing harm to human rights in this country. We hope that our society can now focus on judicial human rights and jointly support judicial reform.
8. As the KMT holds a 75% majority in the Legislative Yuan, we demand that in his role as KMT Chair President Ma take responsibility to support and promote amendment of the “Code of Criminal Procedure” and “Judges Law” for the reform and rectification of human rights violations in the detention system and also to eliminate unsuitable judges. Last year the DPP put forward an amendment to the “Code of Criminal Procedure”, and we ask that in the shortest time possible, this amendment be passed.
9. We wish to make clear that honesty and clean politics are core values of the Democratic Progressive Party and the basis upon which people place their trust in politicians. Whether or not a politician or political party has been honest and practiced clean politics must be judged through a fair administration of justice and a clear set of standards. The people of Taiwan have placed high expectations in the DPP, which the DPP must treasure. In regards to former President Chen’s action of remitting funds overseas and mixing his public and private funds, the DPP considers this to be in violation of the DPP’s clean politics regulations. Regarding former President Chen’s management of political donations and disputed relations with the business community, the DPP believes it fails to meet society’s expectations. In regards to his family members, former President Chen was negligent in restraining their behavior that drew negative criticisms from the public. The DPP maintains that for these errors, former President Chen must take political responsibility.
Thank you so much for your continuing concern for the Typhoon Morakot victims. So many people from all over the world have volunteered to help, which touches us all!
We would like to share an important volunteer update at this time.
Many regions have already started to recover, bit by bit. The need for basic essentials, such as food and water, has dramatically decreased. People are now beginning to clean up their homes, as well as dispose of damaged property and garbage on the streets. Some major exceptions are in hard-to-access mountainous areas of Taiwan, chiefly in Kaohsiung County.
There is certainly much left to accomplish – we are not seeking to underplay the severity of the situation – but we have decided that from this point forward, local relief efforts will run much more smoothly if local governments take the lead. They will thus coordinate further volunteer efforts, and DPP teams will return from their stations in Tainan and Pingtung.
If you would still like to travel to southern Taiwan to help with the ongoing relief efforts, please utilize the following contact information provided below.
Please keep in mind that there are many more people in the south who speak predominately Taiwanese, rather than Chinese. In addition, it is unlikely that many local government officials on the ground will be able to provide foreign volunteers with English-language assistance. Therefore, we highly recommend that potential volunteers possess excellent Taiwanese or Chinese language skills.
Once again, thank you for your outpouring of support. We will continue to post frequent updates on this blog to keep you informed of all major developments.
The DPP Department of International Affairs
Local Government Contact Information:
陳瑩委員台東設立捐贈中心 招募志工站 專線:089-360612
The Democratic Party has set up a new humanitarian fund to provide assistance to victims of Typhoon Morakot.
There are two ways to donate:
If you have a Taiwanese bank account, you can donate directly: 捐款專戶— 郵政劃撥50121596 戶名:財團法人新境界文教基金會
If you live in the United States, you can donate any amount online. Just visit the Democratic Progressive Party – Typhoon Morakot Disaster Relief Operations Center English blog and click on the “DPP Typhoon Morakot Disaster Relief Fund” widget on the upper right hand side of the home page. You can donate any amount, from 10 cents to 1 dollar to 100 dollars! Thanks so much for your donation. It’s time to rebuild Taiwan!