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Ex-VP criticizes DPP for failing to reflect on election loss

2012/01/19 20:31:43

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) Former Vice President Annette Lu criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Thursday for failing to thoroughly review its losses in the just concluded presidential and legislative elections.

"The DPP's cross-Taiwan Strait policy was partly, not fully, the reason for its election setback," said Lu, who served as vice president under the administration of former President Chen Shui-bian of the DPP between 2000 and 2008.

The DPP's Tsai Ing-wen was defeated by incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) by a margin of about 6 percent of the votes cast in the presidential election last weekend.

In the legislative polls, the DPP won 40 of the 113 seats at stake, while the KMT took 64.

Following her loss at the polls, Tsai resigned as party leader with effect from March 1.

Lu said she was the first among the DPP heavyweights to ask Tsai to stay on as DPP chairwoman to comprehensively review the reasons for the party's loss at the polls.

"Those who are trying to run for chairmanship of the DPP should put forward their proposals for party reform," otherwise they will be nothing more than "old wine in new bottles," Lu said.

The DPP has vowed to conduct a deep soul-searching to find out the root causes of its loss.

But Lu said "the views aired by just some individuals should not be counted as reflection."

She was referring to a proposal raised Wednesday by former Premier Frank Hsieh that the DPP should boldly abandon its pursuit of Taiwan's de jure independence as espoused in its platform, starting with the recognition of the Constitution of the Republic of China, which is under the framework of "one China."

By doing so, Hsieh said, the DPP will be able to push its China policy closer to the "1992 consensus", which has been the basis of the ruling KMT's engagement with Beijing.

The KMT has insisted that the 1992 consensus -- a tacit cross-strait understanding that there is only one China with each side entitled to its own interpretation of the term -- is the bedrock of the warming relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Several business tycoons, including Evergreen Group Chairman Chang Yung-fa, Hong Hai Group Chairman Terry Gou and HTC Group Chairwoman Cher Wang, openly endorsed the 1992 consensus days before the election, a move that is widely believed to have dealt a heavy blow to the DPP.

Lu said the proposed "Taiwan consensus," advocated by the DPP during the election campaign as a replacement for the 1992 consensus, "lacks concrete content."

The people who initiated the proposal "should stand up and give a clear definition" of the term, Lu said.

In the election campaign, Tsai denied the existence of the 1992 consensus and proposed that Taiwan reach an internal consensus, through a democratic process, which would be used as the basis for cross-strait engagement.

However, Lu said the KMT's 1992 consensus is seriously flawed. A resolution passed by the now defunct National Unification Council on Aug. 1, 1992 to officially confirm the consensus also recognized that "both Taiwan and the mainland are parts of China," Lu said.

The KMT and DPP have been avoiding talking about the resolution, said Lu. Describing the resolution as "fatal," she said now is the right time to open the "black box."

(By Tang Hsiao-tien & Bear Lee)