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Ex-president Lee Teng-hui will not attend presidential inauguration

2012/05/17 17:33:57

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Former President Lee Teng-hui said Thursday that he will not attend President Ma Ying-jeou's second inaugurationon May 20, as a way of showing his disapproval of Ma's policies.

The 89-year-old Lee, often dubbed "Taiwan's Mr. Democracy," told reporters during a trip to Tainan that he will try to make his stance clear in an "indirect, silent" manner, instead of speaking out directly.

Asked if he will take part in anti-Ma protests organized by opposition parties and various civic groups over the next few days, Lee said he will do so "if necessary" and if he thinks the activities are important.

He added, however, that he will refrain from criticizing Ma, basedon respect for the office of the president.

He advised Ma to discuss the process of policy decision-making with experts and informed people and to avoid making decisions unilaterally.

For example, the country's first directly elected president said, ifMa had consulted with the business sector and representative of the private sector before he announced the government's plan to raise electricity rates, he would not have needed to change his plan later, when the outrage became apparent.

On the issue of whether opposition leaders should visit China, he said there is a need for them to do so, although it is not essential.

He also said Beijing should open its doors to the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party if it is truly concerned aboutTaiwan.

(By Tseng Ying-yu and Y.F. Low)