Yesterday the Million Voices Against Corruption campaign led by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (
施明德) announced that it was changing the emphasis of the campaign from deposing President Chen Shui-bian ( 陳水扁) to pursuing the stolen assets of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
At a press conference yesterday, Shih said that Chen's name had already been ruined and his place in history cemented. As Chen still hasn't been toppled and people are losing patience with the campaign's peaceful methods, he said that the next step would be to push for the passage of the "Sunshine Laws" and the passage of a law governing the assets of political parties in the legislature.
Shih said that pursuing the KMT's stolen assets had gone on for too long and needed to be solved as quickly as possible.
Is Shih a tool of Soong? Funny that the same week that Shih urges his mob to focus on the KMT, the PFP suddenly decided after a year of stonewalling to put the KMT's stolen asset bill on the legislative agenda:
After being blocked by the pan-blue alliance for more than one year in the legislature, a statute designed to divest the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of its stolen party assets was put on the legislative agenda yesterday.
The statute passed the pan-blue controlled Procedure Committee after People First Party (PFP) lawmakers turned their backs on their political ally over the issue.
The PFP's move came as a shock to the KMT, as the parties had allegedly reached an under-the-table deal on Monday swapping KMT opposition to an arms procurement deal for PFP support in obstructing the statute.
Whether or not the bill actually reaches the floor will be determined in a vote today, but the instructive thing here is to watch how the PFP and Shih appear to be working in concert. According to the tale, Shih called Soong to ask him to put the stolen asset bill on the agenda:
Meanwhile, anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) campaign leader Shih Ming-teh (施明德) said yesterday that he had called Soong last week to persuade him to place the controversial statute on the agenda.
"Party assets are a historic burden for the KMT. If [the party] doesn't deal with [the issue] now, it will follow the party like a shadow to the 2007 legislative election and the 2008 presidential election," the former DPP chairman said.
The anti-Chen campaign's newfound support for the statute, however, met with a negative response from some of its supporters, who said they had joined the campaign to demand Chen's resignation, rather than to fight the KMT.
No kidding -- the largely pro-Blue crowd's response was negative? Who wudda thunk that?
The papers are explaining the stunning PFP volteface on the asset bill as Soong, currently running for Taipei mayor as an independent -- he asked himself for a leave of absence, and then granted it to himself -- revenging himself for remarks by Taipei Mayor and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou earlier
The PFP's actions have been interpreted by some as a revenge attack after the reputation of Chairman James Soong (
宋楚瑜), was allegedly "damaged" by KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou ( 馬英九), who supposedly leaked a story about Soong to a foreign news outlet.
Leverage, leverage, leverage. What does Soong want? With his popularity sliding..... (ESWN has the latest numbers from a China Times poll) ... anything is possible. Now that the Shih Ming-teh campaign against President Chen has pretty much shot its bolt (all talk of Shih staying there until either he or Chen is finished seems to have disappeared), Soong's Blue rival Hau Lung-bin, the KMT mayoral candidate, has rebounded in the polls. Even the DPPs Frank Hsieh, who has virtually no chance of winning the election at this point, has crept up. What will Soong do?
Vanish into obscurity, hopefully. But not very likely, alas.
[Taiwan] [KMT] [Democracy] [DPP] [PFP] [Shih Ming-deh/Shih Ming-te] [Chen Shui-bian] [media] [James Soong] [Ma Ying-jeou]