Groups call on presidential candidates for support

By Dimitri Bruyas, Special to the China Post

Members of various associations without party affiliation called yesterday on the candidates of the ruling and opposition parties in the next presidential election for support for their respective agendas.

Members of the “908 Taiwan Republic” movement invited Frank Hsieh and Ma Ying-jeou to participate in the announcement of a new constitution, national anthem and national flag for “Taiwan Republic” during a major event in front of the 101 Tower next September. Also during the event, 50,000 luck charms carrying the name “Taiwan Republic” will be handed over to the public, said Peter Wang, convener of the 908 movement. At the same time, members of the “Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan” (PFT) also called on Ma and Hsieh for support for their policy initiatives. The PFT organized small-sized meetings in both the north and south of Taiwan, where participants could join constructive discussions on cross-strait, ethnic or diplomatic related issues. “I am not very satisfied with the current political situation in Taiwan,” said Albert Tzeng, a Phd student in sociology who coordinated a discussion group. “Participative democracy is a result of the growing sense of frustration among the growing generations.” “On the cross-strait issue for example, everybody already believes that he or she is Taiwanese, so why do political parties have to continue raising this issue ?” Tzeng asked rhetorically. “Perhaps we should write a ‘White Paper’ to the two presidential candidates and ask for their opinion.” Frank Hsieh is the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate for the 2008 Presidential Election, while Ma Ying-jeou is the candidate of the main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT).