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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jailing of Ex President - Good or Bad for Taiwan?

The Economist in an article asks an important question - Is jailing an ex-president a blow against corruption in Taiwan or a sign of persecution?

My view point is it's great that Taiwan is taking action against corruption and showing that nobody is above the rule of law, but...

1. The life sentence for the ex President and his wife is extreme, and will result in a backlash against the KMT

2. The sentence increases the polarization in Taiwan between the Green and Blue parties.

3. It damages any belief the judicial system is not KMT dominated (a 3 panel judge that had released the ex President was replaced by another panel that imposed the life sentence).

4. By using the judiciary in this manner, the KMT leadership risks being handled the same way in the future when they lose power (probably not for a while since the Green party/DPP has internal challenges - similar to the US Republicans in some ways).

5. It sends a very interesting message to the Chinese people, that even a President may be sent to jail.

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