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Presidential hopeful Shih Ming-teh vows to form coalition Cabinet

2015/05/21 20:16:50

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Shih Ming-teh (施明德), a former chairman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), announced Thursday that he intends to run for president in 2016 as an independent candidate.

Shih, one of the leaders of the "Red Tide" anti-corruption protest against then President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in 2006, said the only path for Taiwan is to end one-party governance, therefore, it is necessary to have a non-partisan president who would consider the interests of the whole country.

The 74-year-old politician said that if he is elected, he will invite elites from all the political parties and those under the age of 39 to form a coalition Cabinet.

The coalition government will be based on a parliamentary system, which would require a constitutional amendment to replace the current semi-presidential system that has been in place since 1997, he said.

Shih served as DPP chairman from 1994 to 1996 and was a political prisoner for 25 years before that.

He said Taiwan desperately needs a "Robin Hood" president to deal with the current injustices and income inequality. The government should not adopt policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer, Shih said at a press conference in Taipei.

Shih again raised the proposal of a "Greater One China" framework, which he and six others had first put forward in May 2014.

The key to good relations between Taipei and Beijing is to respect the status quo and make no attempt to change it unilaterally, he said.

He described the status quo as the coexistence of the Republic of China (ROC) and the People's Republic of China (PRC), which have gradually evolved since 1949 from two belligerent governments into two governments with separate jurisdictions.

Under the "Greater One China" framework, the ROC and PRC would eradicate enmity, maintain regional peace together and promise to not use military force against each other, Shih said.

The ROC and PRC should both have the right to participate in international organizations like the United Nations and to establish diplomatic relations with other countries, he said.

The ROC and PRC should jointly form a "limited international legal personality" and agree to a decision-making mechanism to deal with cross-Taiwan Strait issues, Shih suggested.

Under Taiwan law, an independent presidential hopeful requires a petition of support signed by at least 1.5 percent of the electorate that was registered in the most recent legislative election.

Based on the law, Shih would need a minimum 270,000 signatures to become eligible to run for president as an independent.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Kuo Chung-han)
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