Hundreds protest Taiwan’s ruling party on eve of inauguration

TAIPEI: Hundreds of opposition supporters rallied in Taipei to protest four more years of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rule on Sunday (May 19), the day before Taiwan inaugurates president-elect Lai Ching-te.

Lai will take the helm as Taiwan faces increasing diplomatic and military pressures from neighbouring China – which claims the self-ruled island as part of its territory.

But his administration will also have to work with a fractious parliament after voters in January revoked his party’s majority in the Legislative Yuan.

Taiwan’s biggest opposition group, the Kuomintang (KMT) – which has historically been regarded as friendlier to China – received one more seat than the DPP, while the upstart Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) gained the role of kingmaker with eight seats.

Outside the DPP’s headquarters on Sunday, supporters of the TPP held up guavas, called “ba le” in Chinese – which is also used to describe bad cheques.

The fruit symbolised the “empty promises” of the DPP, explained TPP leader Ko Wen-je.

“The DPP’s empty promises have shown us their arrogance,” he told supporters, calling the ruling party “scammers”.

“We are taking to the street today because we feel so helpless with all the empty promises over the past eight years.”

Protester Samuel Chuang, 35, said a lot of young people voted for DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen back in 2016.

“But after eight years, when we see what has actually been done, we feel like there hasn’t been much change,” the engineer said.

“DPP betrayed us. It is not us that betrayed them.”

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