Newspaper article China Post

DPP's Call for a Presidential Pardon Turns into a Farce

Newspaper article China Post

DPP's Call for a Presidential Pardon Turns into a Farce

Article excerpt

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Looking down on the political scene in the country from his vantage point in the presidential office, President Ma Ying-jeou may be able to manage a fleeting smile despite his preoccupation with so many pressing issues, such as the utility and gas price hikes, the ractopamine issue, and so much more.

But it is laughable: In a political farce that drags on and on, certain diehards from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in defiance of their interim leader's call for self-restraint, are clamoring, again, for a presidential pardon for a former president that has been found guilty by a court of law of repeatedly stealing from the people.

Even more ludicrous are their claims and rhetoric.

Wu Rong-i, chairman of the Taiwan Brain Trust, who is scheduled to announce on Sunday, April 8, his candidacy for DPP chairmanship, said on April 5 he supported a presidential pardon for former President Chen Shui-bian because he thought it would make the Taiwan society "even more harmonious."

And then, possibly in a bid to win the support of party diehards, he said, despite well-documented trials: "A former president has been imprisoned, and for so long, before he is even put on trial. Some people may not accept it."

How can a presidential pardon for a convicted criminal - one who has been tried and found guilty, one who still has other corruption charges to answer to, one whose guilty accomplice in the same corruption cases, namely his wife, has never served a single day in the prison in wanton defiance of the judicial system - make society more harmonious? And how can law-abiding citizens stomach such a pardon?

Here is a man who is seeking a favor from the president while claiming the government under him is incarcerating his "man" for no reason at all. His real purpose, perhaps, is not to seek the release of the former president from prison, but to aggravate the sitting president so much so that he will never let his predecessor out. His appeal for a presidential pardon and a more harmonious society simply smacks of a politicking gimmick. …

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