By Miao Miao, Sina English
A recent report saying former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian plans to set up a new political party, which he denied later, has triggered sarcasms and criticisms from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the ruling Kuomintang party (KMT) alike.
Politicians are easily abandoned if they go against people's will. Chen, who was always at the center of contention before he was imprisoned for corruption, has tried desperately to come back to the spotlight.
Chen, currently hospitalized for various ailments, told visiting friends on Dec 3 that he was not happy with the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) efforts to get him medical parole and that “the time is ripe” for a new party. He instructed his followers, known as the One Side, One Country Alliance (OSOCA) to be prepared, as it's reported.
Chen’s office confirmed that Chen was visited by Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin and Taipei City Councilor Chiang Chih-ming, but said Chen did not mention establishing a party during their conversation.
DPP Legislator Gao Gyh-peng, who is an OSOCA member said Chen Shui-bian had never mentioned establishing a party or encouraged anyone to do so, but “he did say he hoped that the OSOCA could compete in the elections in 2014.”
Chen’s son, Chen Chih-chung, said his father had in June set four pre-conditions for establishing a new party: strong public support, consensus within the faction, integration of pro-Taiwan political forces and good timing.
The plan of new party has made DPP annoyed, but most criticisms point to people who intend to release the news rather than Chen Shui-bian himself.
What Chen Shui-bian followers want is not only political interests but also excessive money returns. They used profit by peddling activities related to the former leader, which has been dropping with Chen’s falling support, a DPP Legislator said.
KMT legislator Wu Yu-sheng sees it as "have their heads in the clouds". Chen is anxious to see Taiwan in disorder, "only by doing that can he discharge the opportunity, which will never succeed," he said.
Outside analysts believe that Chen and his followers just want to imply that Chen is able to form a new party, but a clear break with DPP is not his intention.