Tsai’s ‘wait & see’ re­mark draws ire


Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Tsai Ing-wen ( ) faced crit­i­cism yesterday from a lo­cal news­pa­per over her “wait and see” at­ti­tude re­gard­ing the cur­rent eco­nomic and stock mar­ket cri­sis.

Last week, when asked about the stag­nant Tai­wanese econ­omy, Tsai said that mea­sures to save the stock mar­ket and ad­dress the gloomy eco­nomic forecast were her cur­rent “great­est chal­lenge.” She also stated that the DPP has al­ready drawn up ways to deal with the is­sues once she is “elected as pres­i­dent.”

The United Daily News com­men­tary ques­tioned the va­lid­ity be­hind Tsai’s state­ment. “Why should Tsai wait un­til the elec­tions if she is al­ready con­fi­dent that she’ll be­come the next pres­i­dent?”, a ref­er­ence to her state­ment that the DPP will have a higher chance of win­ning the elec­tions this time, made in Washington dur­ing her U.S. tour in June.

The com­men­tary sug­gested that since the strug­gling econ­omy has seen a down­turn in com­pet­i­tive­ness in the past few years, Tsai has the means to help push mea­sures to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion with the DPP as the largest op­po­si­tion party.

Tsai’s “we’ll han­dle this once we’re elected” at­ti­tude, as the com­men­tary de­scribed it, draws com­par­isons to the U.S. The re­mark would be met with gen­eral dis­ap­proval rather than ap­plause in the U.S. due to the dif­fer­ent lev­els of democ­racy be­tween the two coun­tries, and vary­ing voter ex­pec­ta­tions about politi­cians, the com­men­tary said.

The DPP has yet to make a state­ment as of press time.

Ju­di­cial Re­forms

On poli­cies re­gard­ing ju­di­cial re­forms, Tsai pro­posed that the “pres­i­dent should per­son­ally lead the re­forms,” and pledged to hold a na­tion­wide ju­di­cial sys­tem re­form meet­ing af­ter be­com­ing pres­i­dent next year. Tsai met with Lee Chia-chin (

), chair­man of the Tai­wan Bar As­so­ci­a­tion ( ), and Ju­di­cial Re­form Foun­da­tion ( ) chair­man Joseph Lin ( ), yesterday, where the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date took the op­por­tu­nity to an­nounce her plat­form on ju­di­cial re­forms.

In her list of nine re­forms, Tsai stated that changes should be based on in­creas­ing the “qual­ity and work ethic of ju­di­cial of­fi­cials,” and re­vis­ing the cur­rent “en­try and exit strat­egy” for such of­fi­cials, such as im­ple­ment­ing reg­u­la­tions on re­mov­ing un­suit­able judges.

The pres­i­den­tial can­di­date also pro­posed re­vis­ing Tai­wan’s ju­di­cial sys­tem in the “re­form meet­ing” that could be held af­ter she’s elected as pres­i­dent, stat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of im­ple­ment­ing struc­tures such as a “jury sys­tem” or “lay judge sys­tem.”

In her pro­posed sys­tem­atic re­forms, Tsai ad­vo­cated re­vis­ing the three-lev­eled ju­di­cial re­view sys­tem to cre­ate a more ef­fi­cient sys­tem as far as di­vi­sion of work at each level. Tsai also stated that the cur­rent sys­tem should im­prove its “sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tions” to fur­ther raise the court’s cred­i­bil­ity.

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