Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fear descends upon the elections

Sources within the DPP have said that out of concern for Tsai Ing-wen’s personal safety, the presidential candidate is unlikely to campaign in Kinmen and Matsu

Although it is too early to tell whether a telephone threat to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) presidential campaign office yesterday was the real deal, there are already indications that fear and intimidation could become an important ingredient in the January presidential election.

An unidentified man, who called twice, allegedly threatened to set Tsai’s office in Banciao (板橋), New Taipei City (新北市), ablaze. Tsai’s staff, who immediately called police, said it was the first time the office had received threatening calls.

While Tsai said she would not be intimidated by such threats, close advisers have admitted that fears for her personal safety are imposing limits on the type of campaigning she will be able to do in the lead-up to the Jan. 14 polls.

One example of this is the DPP’s campaign team’s purported decision to skip Kinmen and Matsu, despite the role Tsai played in the opening of the “small three links” with China under former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration in January 2001.

My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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