Fri, Mar 19, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Breaking News
President, vice president shot on campaign eve

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮)were shot yesterday afternoon while leading a motorcade in Tainan City butwere assessed to be in good condition after being sent to the Chi mei

Medical Center in adjacent Yungkang City, Tainan County.

The government immediately called a national security meeting at the Presidential Office to activate emergency security measures, including the convening of a special Cabinet task force and the upgrading of military

readiness.But today's presidential election and referendum will proceed as normal.

“The presidential election and the referendum will be held in accordance with the original schedule on Saturday. We hope that everyone in the country will keep calm and proceed with voting normally to strengthen Taiwan's

democracy,” Premier Yu Shyi-kun said at the conclusion of the one-hour meeting.

Yu also said that because Chen was not seriously hurt, he would be fully capable of continuing with his presidential duties.Initial reports of the shooting emerged at 2:15pm, but both the government and the DPP at first would not confirm them.

Chen's top aide, Secretary General to the President Chiou I-jen (邱義仁),then held a press conference at 3:30pm, saying that the president and vice president had been injured, but that fortunately their lives were not in danger and that both were conscious.

Chiou said the shooting occurred at 1:45pm, when Chen and Lu, standing side-by-side on a jeep in a Tainan City motorcade, were struck by bullets as they passed near the intersection of Wenhsien Rd and Chinhua Rd cross-road, and thousands of supporters crowded as well as the firecrackers

spreading everywhere, none of security guards found the gunshot.

“The vice president first felt sharp pain on her right knee, then the president felt that his right stomach was wet,” said secretary general to the president Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), “he lift his jacket then found blood.”

Chiou said that security guards escorted Chen and Lu to the hospital, while the public didn't aware of the gunshot event, but there was a clear bullet hole on the windscreen of Chen's jeep.

“The National Police Administration and Minister of Justice have organized a special task force to take charge in the investigation.

“As to those issues, including that who or what institute made the crime,how many bullets, or was there any witness, the government has no any concrete answer for the time being,” Chiou said.

Questioning by the media about the president's protective measurement, Chiou admitted that both Chen and Lu didn't wear bullet-proof vests yesterday,stressing that the entire national security system will be reviewed.

Shocking by the event, the DPP and the KMT both decided to call off all campaign activities, especially those night rallies, to prevent from arousing the public's emotional action.

“We ask all supporters to keep in calm and not to show any irrational behavior,” said DPP campaign headquarters chief Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄).

Chang said that the part condemned the violence and hope that the government can arrest the person who committed such a crime.

KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), the pan-blue camp's presidential candidate,expressed his concern to Chen and Lu, saying that he and his party hope them

passed the accident.

“We also expect that the government give the public a clear fact about the gunshot event as soon as possible,” said Lien.

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