Sat, Nov 01, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Lee fears exile if Chen loses poll

GLOOMY PROSPECTThe former president said Chen's losing the election would pave the way for China to undermine the country and that the only solution would be to flee

By Chang Yun-Ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui gives a speech yesterday morning for the establishment of a group to support President Chen Shui-bian. Lee says he will have to flee the country if Chen is not re-elected.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday he would have go into exile if President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election bid fails.

"If Chen loses power, Taiwan will be further disturbed by Communist China, and at that point, everyone will have to flee the country for their lives," Lee said.

Lee spoke at the establishment of a national federation of private social groups supporting Chen's bid for re-election.

"There were people here chanting `Long Live Hu Jintao (胡錦濤)' during the Double Ten Day celebration. What would Taiwan become if Chen loses power and Communist China undermines this country?" Lee asked.

Lee said he would lead a rally of about 1 million people on Feb. 28 to support Chen's campaign.

Lee, convener of the federation, said Taiwan must do three things to forge a national identity: change the country's name from Republic of China to Taiwan, pass a referendum law and adopt a new constitution.

"The March presidential election will be a critical battle to determine whether Taiwan is further democratized by the continuation of the local power of the DPP. Only by supporting President Chen will Taiwan's people be able to continue running their own country and prevent the comeback of a foreign regime," he said.

Lee said he should have started to push for these goals in 2000. Lee said that after the 2000 election, however, he left the KMT because he realized the party would never push for these things.

The federation was established by pro-Taiwan independence groups including the Friends of Lee Teng-hui, the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, World United Formosans for Independence, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and the Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan.

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