Ker reveals details of negotiation with students
By Katherine Wei ,The China Post
April 17, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday revealed his previous discussions with Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on negotiations for the student protesters to end their occupation of the Legislature, saying that the duo had resolved the “national crisis” after a week's endeavors.
Ker broke his silence concerning the “secret” negotiations in an interview yesterday, stating that his collaboration with Wang was classified and could not be disclosed to the public before the student movement ended. According to Ker, the speaker had called for all party caucuses to propose feasible solutions in regard to the student-led protesters' demands; Ker himself had met Wang and mapped out a plan on March 29.
Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou had also sought out Ker in hopes of negotiating with the protesters, said Ker, who added that Gou had met with President Ma Ying-jeou and King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), Taiwan's top envoy to the U.S., on four separate occasions but was unable to reach a consensus. Gou had made numerous attempts to negotiate with Ma, Wang and Ker, and had also relayed Wang's plan to the president, Ker revealed.
“After a week's hard work, (we) finally ended the national crisis in a manner Wang found acceptable and was willing to participate in. This is a major step,” said Ker, who had accompanied Wang on his visit to the students who had occupied the Legislature.
In response to the DPP's inquiries of why Ker had not sought authorization from the party or made a report afterwards, Ker stated that DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) and Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) had known of the “plan” and that the party officials were well-informed. “Do we need authorization to challenge Ma and to resolve a national crisis?” Ker demanded.
Tuan is also the head of the DPP's Cross-Strait Trade Pact Committee.
Getting Everyone's Support
The last week of the occupation was when the tension was at its peak and when anything could change at a moment's notice, said Ker. “If the news of our discussions leaked, the entire plan would not work. I couldn't even return home for my mother's 95th birthday and was going to sleep at 2 in the morning and waking at 6 a.m. ... When I visited the Legislature to see the number of protesters left, my (and student leader Lin Fei-fan's (林飛帆) biggest worry was that there were not enough protesters surrounding the Legislature,” said Ker, as the students had feared the police would launch an eviction when the protester numbers dwindled.
Ker retold his words to Wang, hinting that the Kuomintang was trying to get Wang to shoulder all responsibilities. “In the time we have left, there are two things we should do: to push for a consensus in cross-caucus negotiations and for cross-strait relations to progress peacefully. You will have to get the support of everyone, in order to win the lawsuit,” said Ker to Wang, referring to the fact that the latter's party membership lawsuit was still unsettled.
A Collaboration Across Generations
Ker hoped for the political parties to take advantage of the student movement's positive energy and for all generations to cooperate. The constitution should be amended in order to fix the problems within Taiwan's current system of law; Ma and the KMT lawmakers should side with the people, said Ker.