Daily Bloom, 7.23.14

Welcome to the Daily Bloom! The Daily Bloom will be a daily shortform blog with updates on the day’s political going-ons. If something particularly exciting happening in Taiwan, we will be providing live updates on our Facebook page and Twitter account. At the end of the day, we will compile the live updates to provide a chronological timeline of the day’s events. If not, we will simply report on what happened that day, or what might be of note that happened. If you have news tips about what would be interesting to cover, send to [email protected]!

July 23, 2014

Plane crash in Penghu with up to 45 feared dead, 9 injured. The flight, GE 222, took flight from Kaoshiung at 5:00 PM, but crashed around 7 PM outside Magong airport, near Penghu Island. There were a total of 54 passengers and 4 crew on the plane, which was operated by TransAsia Airways.

Labor Minister Pan Shi-wei comes under fire for reports of his having an affair with his secretary. This was reported on by Next Magazine. Pan threatened libel accusations and stressed the transparency of his travel arrangements with his secretary, who has been Pan’s secretary for six years, he also suggested that Next Magazine would only report such on the basis of his being a man and his secretary a woman.

Academic Tung Li-Wen cites the creation of 116 new political parties after beginning of Ma administration. Tung suggested that these groups were mobilized during mainland Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun’s visit to Taiwan last month in order to provide a show of support and that mainland China is backing many of the groups, with the end of being able to influence the 2016 presidential election if they can come to control as little as 3 to 5% of the vote.

Control Yuan member, Huang Huang-hsiung publishes an interview with former President Chen Shui-Bian in which Chen states that he would be “better off dead”. Huang was last in the news for reporting KMT party assets as the end result of an apparently fifteen year long investigations. Chen has been jailed since 2008 on charges of money laundering and corruption in what critics allege is politically motivated suppression of dissidence by the KMT. Chen’s health has been declining as of 2012 and there are many that call for his release on health grounds, following a suicide attempt by Chen. Chen has been sentenced to a twenty year prison term, commuted from life imprisonment.