Sunday, June 25, 2006

Green editorial on Ma Ying-jeou

Taipei Times:
What Taiwan needs now is a stronger, unbiased, independent watchdog mechanism to monitor all politicians, especially those who might take power in 2008.

Among them, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) flip flops on whether or not to support a recall campaign or a no confidence vote against the premier displays a lack of integrity and decisiveness.

Also, when former Taitung County commissioner Wu Chun-li (吳俊立) was charged with bribery and his wife represented him in the election, Ma emphasized that Wu's wife "should not suffer for the crimes of her husband." But when first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) was accused of receiving vouchers from the SOGO Department Store and her son-in-law was charged with insider trading, Ma insisted Chen take the blame.

When Chen's recall was first suggested by hawkish pan-blue figures, Ma remained cautious about such a move. As People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) -- the likely PFP candidate for Taipei mayor -- regained the spotlight by attacking Chen and his family, Ma decided to side with him largely out of political concerns.

However, amid criticism that Ma has been controlled by Soong and the anti-Chen movement, he decided not to dance to Soong's tune and initiate a vote of no-confidence in the Cabinet right after Tuesday's recall vote.

Ma's political fence-sitting reminds us that he tried to manipulate the unification-independence issue earlier this year. After Chen announced he would consider abolishing the National Unification Council and guidelines in January, Ma adjusted his political stance by switching from unification as the eventual goal for Taiwan to embracing the idea of independence as an option.


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