Fri, Apr 16, 2004 - Page 1 News List

People First Party says it will try to stop inauguration

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The People First Party (PFP) legislative caucus yesterday threatened to file an injunction with the Taiwan High Court to stop the inauguration of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and proposed that Legislative Speaker and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Deputy Chairman Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) act as Chen's proxy until the election controversy is settled.

"Chen and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), as the defendants in two lawsuits, cannot be sworn in as the new president and vice president because the High Court is still investigating the cases," Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), director of the PFP's Center for Policy Research, told a press conference held at the legislature yesterday morning.

The pan-blue alliance has filed one lawsuit to declare the election a fraud and another to demand a recount of the ballots.

While the recount lawsuit was aimed at suspending Chen and Lu's election on the grounds of fraud, the annulment lawsuit was targeted at the Central Election Commission and seeks to nullify the March 20 election.

PFP lawmaker Hsu Yuan-kuo (許淵國) proposed that the legislature let the speaker become president to be in line with practices adopted by countries such as South Korea.

If Chen and Lu insisted on being sworn in as the nation's new leaders -- as required by law -- Chang said that the PFP would file an injunction.

In addition to the judicial process, Chang said that the caucus was also considering amending the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選罷法) to bar a president and vice president-elect involved in a "legal entanglement" from being sworn in.

According to Philip Chou (周國代), a PFP lawyer, the injunction will be filed early next month.

Chou refused to predict how the court would rule on the request, saying that the controversy was unique in the nation's history.

The PFP legislative caucus yesterday also filed a lawsuit against Presidential Office Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), accusing him of violating the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law by upgrading the nation's security status, as is customary before an election.

In addition, PFP and KMT lawmakers requested the Control Yuan form a task force to probe into whether Premier Yu Shyi-kun, who doubled as the DPP's campaign manager, had broken the law by presiding over the national security meeting, which is the responsibility of the president.

They also asked the government watchdog to investigate Chiu and National Security Council Secretary-General Kang Ning-hsiang (康寧祥) for refusing to respond to inquiries about the activation of the national security mechanism.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday criticized remarks made by a PFP lawmaker, requesting that PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) apologize for the lawmaker's comments about Chen.

Likening Chen to a despotic emperor, Emperor Chou (紂王) of the Shang Dynasty, and Yuan Shih-kai (袁世凱), a warlord in the early 1900s who overthrew the Republic of China and declared himself emperor, PFP legislator Thomas Lee (李桐豪) encouraged the public to "shoot President Chen dead" if they run into him.

DPP legislative caucus whip Tsai Huang-lang (蔡煌瑯) criticized Lee's remark as "anti-democracy aimed at provoking confrontation and violence."

Branding Lee an "uncivilized instigator" and his remark "nearly insane," Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) requested Wang uphold justice and revoke Lee's legal immunity as a lawmaker and send him to the legislature's discipline committee for punishment.

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