Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chen Shui-bian: Two Solutions, Before and After 2016

Chen Shui-bian: Two Solutions, Before and After 2016
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
April 24, 2013

Summary: The cases against Chen Shui-bian must be resolved before 2016 by means of medical parole. Otherwise the DPP will continue raising a stink. Will this lead to "medical parole" becoming an albatross around the Democratic Progressive Party's neck in 2016? Will this become a hurdle the DPP cannot overcome?

Full Text below:

Chen Shui-bian and the DPP need to think clearly. The issue of Chen Shui-bian's treatment has two solutions, each at different points in time. One. Medical parole before the 2016 presidential election. Two. A presidential pardon after the 2016 presidential election.

So far Chen Shui-bian and the DPP appear to be seeking medical parole or home recuperation before the 2016 presidential election. But the likelihood of this is low. The DPP constantly engages in stunts such as kicking down the door to the Minister of Justice's office. What sort of impression does this leave on the public? Positive or negative? Besides, if the situation drags on until the 2016 presidential election, Chen Shui-bian's case is likely to become box office poison and hurt the DPP's election prospects. When the time comes, will the Democratic Progressive Party's presidential candidate kick down the door to Tseng Yung-fu's office?

Rumor has it that Chen Shui-bian's lawyers are seeking to halt all further prosecutions, on grounds of insanity. But this approach will also make him ineligible for a pardon. Never mind that Ma Ying-jeou has yet to decide whether to grant Chen a presidential pardon. Suppose the DPP wins the 2016 presidential election? Chen Shui-bian would be totally unrepentant. He would face further prosecution. Unless the DPP is willing to tear the nation apart, will it dare grant Chen Shui-bian a pardon?

The DPP needs to think clearly. What impact will the Chen Shui-bian factor have on 2016? Today the DPP is milking the Chen Shui-bian "medical parole" issue for all it is worth. During the 2016 presidential election will the greedy, extremist, and shameless Chen Shui-bian become an albatross around the DPP's neck? How will that presidential election campaign play out? Can the DPP really predict?

Chen Shui-bian has painted himself into a corner. The more shrilly he demands "medical parole," the more outrageous his antics, the less legitimate his prospects of receiving a presidential pardon. The DPP also finds itself on the horns of a dilemma. The more it demands "medical parole," the more likely its 2016 presidential election campaign will be inextricably linked to Chen Shui-bian.

Consider the likelihood of "medical parole" before 2016. Every time the Green Camp precipitates a confrontation over "medical parole," the Ministry of Justice reaffirms that Chen "may not receive medical parole." It reaffirms the jurisprudence. Chiu Yi-ying kicked down the door to the MInister of Justice's office. She undermined public sympathy and support yet again. The Ministry of Justice has arranged for a private 243 Ping "five-star house arrest ward" in the Pei-de Hospital. It has published videos of Chen Shui-bian relaxing in the garden. His hands were rock steady. They were not shaking. The Ministry of Justice has addressed all four aspects of the issue, including compassion, logic, law, and medical treatment. Chen Shui-bian and the DPP will not find an attack on this front easy. The Ministry of Justice has already decided to "go strictly by the book."  The DPP is attempting to exploit this issue by applying pressure on President Ma. But the more the DPP politicizes the case, the more Ma Ying-jeou back away from it, and the more the possibility of a political solution tends toward zero.

Chen Shui-bian and the DPP hope to resolve the matter before 2016, by resort to "medical parole." But their efforts will be in vain. Consider the possibility of a change in ruling parties and a DPP presidential pardon after 2016. Perhaps one can make a stronger case for this. But it would have preconditions. The cases pending against Chen would have to be swiftly resolved. Chen Shui-bian would also have to admit guilt and express remorse, Only then can whoever is president after 2016 pardon Chen Shui-bian. Only then can Chen Shui-bian be granted parole for his current convictions (2018 or 2009), one to three years in advance. Other cases involve specific sentences. Chen can be pardoned for them all collectively. Therefore Chen should not demand that prosecutions against him be halted. Instead he should demand speedy trials.

If the Kuomintang candidate is elected president in 2016, Chen must admit guilt and express remorse. The new president may wish to improve the political climate. He could seize the opportunity to pardon Chen Shui-bian. If the Democratic Progressive Party candidate is elected, if the cases against Chen are resolved, and if Chen admits guilt and expresses remorse, a pardon is even more likely. As Shih Ming-teh noted, "The key to Chen Shui-bian's parole, is not in the hands of Ma Ying-jeou. It is not in the mouth of Chen fanatics, (It is also not in the feet of Chiu Yi-ying) but in the heart of Chen Shui-bian."

For the DPP, Chen Shui-bian is a "chronic depression patient" whose hand shakes uncontrollably in public but remains rock steady when he thinks he is alone. He is also a symbol of insatiable greed and Taiwan independence extremism. Those who kick down doors to support him, know all about Chen Shui-bian's "hand tremors." They are merely attempting to win votes from fundamentalists who uncritically abet Chen Shui's unbridled greed and political extremism. Such tactics, in such an atmosphere, may help the Democratic Progressive Party in elections at various levels prior to 2016. But they could become a drag on the DPP's prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

The cases against Chen Shui-bian must be resolved before 2016 by means of medical parole. Otherwise the DPP will continue raising a stink. Will this lead to "medical parole" becoming an albatross around the Democratic Progressive Party's neck in 2016? Will this become a hurdle the DPP cannot overcome?

2013.04.24 03:03 am











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