Taipei: Over 1,00,000 Taiwanese nationals participated in the first mass opposition protest against President Tsai Ing-wen’s three-month old government, marching through Taipei on Saturday over Tsai’s controversial pension reform plan.
The protesters, mostly retired government employees, servicemen, teachers and their family members, marched from four venues in Taipei towards the Presidential Office Building, Efe news reported.
Waving Taiwan’s national flags and carrying banners with slogans such as “Revive Chinese Culture!”, the demonstrators transformed the streets leading to the Presidential Office Building into a sea of red.
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Shouting “Down with Tsai Ing-wen!”, “Stop Smearing!” and “Give Us Dignity!”, the participants gathered before a makeshift stage in front of the Presidential Office Building for a rally denouncing Tsai’s government.
According to the Taipei Times, Tsai is moving forward to reform the pension system, after a study by the Ministry of Civil Service earlier this year showed that the system could bankrupt itself and was financially unviable.
The study showed that some of the country’s 1,34,849 retired civil servants received more than $3,157 per month, while the lowest average payments were $1,263.
According to an unnamed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had in 2014 also attempted to reform the system, but faced a backlash that led to its electoral defeat that year.