Leaders of minor pan-green camp parties yesterday joined organizations that support Taiwanese independence in supporting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), calling for better cooperation with Tsai and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The DPP should not try to dominate the entire pan-green political spectrum, but give other pan-green parties room to operate, as they are at the forefront in the battle for Taiwan’s democracy and freedom, World United Formosans for Independence chairman Richard Chen (陳南天) said.

Led by Chen and Social Democratic Party convener Fan Yun (范雲), the representatives said that they support Tsai’s re-election bid, as the nation needs a leader who upholds justice, and Tsai can face China’s threats with courage and determination.

“Although we are showing support for Tsai, we also know that many people in the Taiwanese independence movement are dissatisfied with her and the DPP’s governance these past few years,” Chen said. “We have our differences on many issues. They also complain of being marginalized and driven to extinction by the DPP.”

“Many of our friends and affiliated groups wanted to have [former premier] William Lai (賴清德) as the DPP’s presidential candidate, but no matter the differences, our choice is Tsai, because with her as president, we can still have scrutiny and voice criticism,” he said.

“However, if the other candidate who is acting under China’s control were to win, then Taiwanese would no longer have any choice — we can only sit back and wait for our death,” Chen said.

The only other contender in the presidential race so far is Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate.

The representatives urged the public to closely examine all presidential candidates and say “no” to a political opportunist who cannot espouse a clear idea of his principles and can only speak vaguely on proposed policies.

Taiwanese should reject candidates who ignore the constant military threat and bullying from outside, prioritize China’s interests and keep blaming the victims rather than the aggressor, while undermining the freedom and democratic values that Taiwanese hold dear, they said.

Many small political parties would be fighting for their survival in the presidential and legislative elections in Jan. 11 next year, trying to win enough votes to have their candidates pass the threshold for legislator-at-large seats, Fan said.

“We are at a critical point and it is time to put aside our differences by supporting Tsai,” Fan said. “We cannot afford Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy being killed and buried by China and its proxies. I do not want to see Taiwan become devoid of justice, rights and equality.”