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DPP lawmaker proposes motion for “normal country”
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-16 05:29 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In the run-up to the weekend’s Democratic Progressive Party congress, lawmaker Chen Ting-fei on Wednesday presented a proposal for a motion to turn Taiwan into a “normal country.”

The call was a response to a proposal from other DPP members to freeze the Taiwan Independence clause in the party’s charter, a subject which is likely to cause heated debate at Sunday’s conference.

Former lawmaker Chen Zau-nan said he wanted the clause to be set aside because following the introduction of direct and complete elections for the Legislative Yuan and for the presidency in the 1990s, Taiwan was already an independent country with “Republic of China” (ROC) as its official name. The Kuomintang’s colonial regime had been terminated, therefore, there was no need to harp on the independence issue anymore, he said. Supporters of his stance have argued that the clause harms the DPP’s chances of winning elections, the 2016 presidential poll in particular.

Chen Ting-fei, who opposes the freeze, said Wednesday she would use the congress to propose a motion to turn Taiwan into a normal country. The proposal was designed to counter the supporters of the freeze, she said.

The lawmaker agreed that Taiwan was a sovereign and independent nation with its own direct presidential elections and tax revenue, but the only direction it could go in was that of a normal nation. The time was right to propose a motion emphasizing Taiwan’s normal status, she said.

Protesters showed up outside DPP headquarters Wednesday to voice their opposition against an eventual freeze of the Taiwan Independence clause. If it were approved, that would mean the DPP was turning into a carbon copy of the KMT, they said. The protesters also demanded that Chen Zau-nan and his supporters, including former legislator Julian Kuo, withdraw from the DPP. The activists said they might be back Sunday to protest outside the congress.

Chen Zau-nan said the protesters were demanding the establishment of a “Republic of Taiwan,” which was different from the independence issue. He said they should ask DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen why she stated that the ROC was Taiwan and Taiwan was the ROC during her run for the presidency in 2012.

Former Premier Frank Hsieh commented to reporters that in his experience, proposals which did not have a consensus behind them, such as the move to freeze the independence clause, had little chance of winning approval by the congress. He said he wanted to observe how Tsai handled the issue. She was elected opposition leader last May, and this will be her first congress as chairwoman since then. She also led the DPP from 2008 to 2012.

Another former premier, Yu Shyi-kun, described the Taiwan Independence clause as one of the DPP’s basic values, which therefore could not be done away with.

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