Protests against Taiwan leader to go ahead as scheduled

Protests against Taiwan leader to go ahead as scheduled

TAIWAN - Several civic groups yesterday said they will hold rallies against Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on September 29 in Taipei as scheduled, even though the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) has decided to postpone its annual national congress, originally set to be held on the same day.

The (KMT) was scheduled to hold its 19th National Congress meeting, during which Ma will be sworn in as the chairman of the KMT at downtown Taipei's Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall on September 29.

The party, however, announced earlier yesterday that it decided to postpone the meeting to October 26 for safety reasons to avoid possible conflict with protestors.

The meeting venue has reportedly been changed to the Chung-Shan Building in Yangmingshan National Park.

Ge Shu-ren, the spokesperson and organiser of an anti-Ma demonstration scheduled to be held in front of the Presidential Office Building, said that the protest will be held on September 29 as planned.

Ge, former president of local TV news channel TVBS, said he won't call off the protest. He reiterated his call to urge Taiwanese nationals to take to the street on September 29 if they are unsatisfied with the Ma administration.

He also urged Ma to step down from his post as KMT chairman so that he can focus on his job as the president.

Also yesterday, the "National Alliance of Laborers from Closed Factories", which was going to hold a protest in the vicinity of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall on September 29 to show their anger toward Ma, said that their scheduled protest will continue.

Wang Hao, a spokesperson of the alliance, said the KMT's decision to postpone its annual assembly and change its location to the less accessible mountainous area will not change the fact that Taiwanese people are disappointed over Ma's poor performance.

Wang added that the alliance could launch another round of protests on October 26 at the Chung-Shan Building.

Meanwhile, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-cheng called on Ma to make a positive response to the protestors' demands.

"Changing the date and location for the KMT national congress will not solve the problem," Su said.

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