Monday, December 26, 2005

Soft Coup Judgment Against Chen Misguided

Taiwan News has an excellent analysis of the recent court decision against President Chen Shui-bian's remark that the Blues planned a "soft coup" during the staged demonstrations against the elections in 2004:

But the excessive focus on whether Lien and Soong were behind this initiative rips the military component of the post-election campaign by the pan-blue camp against President Chen and the DPP government out of context.

Rather, the most salient question is whether the combination of actions or initiatives launched against the just re-elected DPP government could legitimately be perceived as a an attempted (and fortunately unsuccessful) "soft coup."

In addition to the lobbying efforts by pan-blue ex-generals, such a judgment would need to consider the issues including the scale and goals of the extended occupation of Ketagalan Square, the significance of repeated appeals in posters and on pan-blue Web sites for "military and police officers to rise up," the calls by Soong himself and other PFP "lawmakers" for their supporters to "storm the presidential office," and violent attempt by KMT and PFP legislators with several hundred supporters to block the promulgation of the results by the Central Election Commission and the violent confrontations with police on March 27, April 4 and April 11.

Attention should be devoted to the concerted effort by KMT and PFP politicians to pressure Chen to declare a "state of emergency" to investigate the March 19 shooting, a demand that could easily be seen as a disguised call for Chen to resign since he was an involved party, in the role of victim, of the shooting.

Indeed, a salient political question is whether the attempted "soft coup" begun on Ketegalan Boulevard in the early morning of March 21, 2004 has ever ended.


Unknown said...

How is this excellent analysis? This is just re-hashing the ridiculous line promulgated by CSB that street protests posed a threat to the government.

Note the minimal use of force used to disperse the protesters by local law enforcement (which is heavily pro-KMT itself). The government didn't even have to call in the military to deal with this supposed attempt at revolt. I thought your standards were a bit higher Michael.

Anonymous said...

Err... that's why they call it a "soft" coup.

A good analysis indeed. The events of 2004 made me recall (when I was 7) the "Dismissal" of the duly elected government of Australia in 1975. The opposition, which controlled the upper house (the Senate) refused to pass the budget supply bills, and on this pretext, the pro-opposition Governor-General used his constitutional powers as the Queen's representative to sack the government.

A soft coup. And bring on the Republic of Australia.