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Ma Administration is sinking ship: DPP leader
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-21 03:42 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang described recent criticisms by prominent ruling Kuomintang members of President Ma Ying-jeou’s policies as signs that they were planning to leave the sinking ship.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said Friday that the abolition of the Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division (SID) could be considered following the backlash over its involvement in the allegations of influence peddling against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng.

“The ship is about to sink, so it’s only natural that everyone wants to jump out of the ship,” Su told reporters.

The Ma Administration has been battling dismal opinion poll ratings for more than a year, with the president’s support level plummeting to a range between 9 percent and 13 percent.

Su said that Ma had in the past been an expert at distancing himself from others, so now he should not be surprised that other politicians wanted to distance themselves from his government.

Hau also said Friday that Ma should allow Premier Jiang Yi-huah to reshuffle the Cabinet in his own way to breathe new life into the government.

After the KMT headquarters emphasized there was still a need for the SID to continue its work, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu defended his colleague by saying he had only meant to offer constructive suggestions for the good of the nation.

Separately, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu reportedly joked that Ma could open a shoe store with all the shoes that had been thrown at him by protesters recently. Hu denied the president would be angry with him, since he had a great sense of humor. Media reports suggested that Ma might even decide not to nominate Hu as the candidate for Control Yuan president next year because of the joke.

Hau, Chu and Hu are all frequently mentioned as potential presidential candidates for the KMT in 2016. Their comments were interpreted by Su and other opposition leaders as expressing fear on the part of future KMT candidates about their fate in upcoming elections.

The KMT will first have to defend its incumbent mayors and county magistrates in the December 6, 2014 local elections. Central and Northern Taiwan used to be party strongholds, but the DPP is hoping to win at least one of the mayoral posts in Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung or the newly upgraded city of Taoyuan, now still known as Taoyuan County.

The KMT leaders were only saying what the public already knew, but in the past they might have felt threatened by the party, Su said. Their newfound openness indicated how grave the situation was inside the KMT, he concluded.

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