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31 March 2008
Mr Frank Hsieh
Democratic Progressive party
Dear Mr Hsieh,
We are greatly disappointed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) did not fare better in the presidential elections. We feel the pain that you feel in a defeat.
Yet, you have shown that there is honour in defeat. All too often ruling parties in Asia cling on to power in undemocratic ways. And when they lose elections, they seize power through illegal means.
You have not only shown that democracy can work, but has worked, in Taiwan. To this end, Taiwan continues to be the torch-bearer for democracy in Asia. For that we are grateful to you and your people for showing Asia the way forward. We in the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) are very proud of what the DPP has achieved. It is a privilege and an honour to stand together with you in CALD.
In your very moving and yet dignified concession speech (watchvideo here), you have shown how democracy strengthens rather than tears down society. This will have much impact way beyond the shores of Taiwan. The autocrats in Asia, although still in power, cannot match you in character for it takes great courage and grace to accept defeat the way that you have.
We look forward to DPP’s rise again and to continue working with you to bring about enduring democracy throughout Asia.
Chee Soon Juan
Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats