Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chief international observer Murkowski lambasts Paal

Even if he was speaking as a private citizen, as an electoral monitor the former AIT director should have avoided saying anything that can benefit either of the candidates in the election

The head of an international delegation of electoral observers yesterday said remarks by a visiting former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director concerning today’s presidential election were “inexcusable” and were contrary to US commitments to Taiwan’s democracy.

Frank Murkowski, head of the international delegation for the International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan (ICFET), called a press conference after former AIT director Douglas Paal strongly endorsed in a TV interview the so-called “1992 consensus” adopted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), while calling the “Taiwan consensus” proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) “impractical.”

Paal, who was invited by the KMT-affiliated Prospect Foundation to lead a delegation of monitors, also raised doubts about Tsai’s ability to ensure stability across the Taiwan Strait and insinuated that Washington was apprehensive about a DPP victory in the election.

While describing the democratic process in Taiwan as “orderly” and “energetic,” Murkowski said the past two days had seen the emergence of “surprising activity.”

“I take strong issue with any inference of US policy favoring any candidate or party,” the former US senator told the press conference.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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