Mon, Aug 16, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Chen, Lee help mark TSU's birthday

LOOKING BACK Two presidents paid tribute to the Taiwan Solidarity Union's contributions to democracy during an anniversary ceremony yesterday in Taipei

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian, right, praises the Taiwan Solidarity Union's constributions to the nation's democracy in his speech to the party's third anniversary celebrations yesterday at the Taipei International Conference Center as former president Lee Teng-hui, center, and TSU Chairman Huang Chu-wen, left, look on. In his speech, Chen urged voters to support pan-green candidates in the year-end legislative elections.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

On the third anniversary of the founding of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) appeared together at the Taipei Inter-national Convention Center and offered their acknowledgement of the TSU's contributions to the nation. Pan-green heavyweights also sent their congratulations to the candidates for the year-end legislative elections.

"The TSU and Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] are brother parties; both identify with the social trends of Taiwanese people," Chen said. "I would like to congratulate and acknowledge the TSU's contributions to Taiwanese democracy in the past three years."

Chen emphasis that the relationship between the DPP and TSU is a reciprocal one.

"Some might have thought when the TSU was founded that its impact on the DPP would be negative," Chen said. "But over the course of three years, it is clear that the bond between the two parties is strong."

Chen pointed out other merits of the TSU.

"The TSU has managed to persist in its pro-localization ideology and reflect the mainstream thinking of the public," Chen said.

Urging more progress on national unification, Chen said, "In order to safeguard the safety and the stability of Taiwan, the people have to be united," he said. "The year-end legislative elections is a touchstone of how people feel about Taiwan. I hope that [the DPP and TSU] will win over a majority of legislative seats, not to increase the influence of a particular political party, but to have a more united country."

Chen also expressed his view on the importance of the legislative speaker's impartiality.

"A legislative speaker should be politically neutral and serve only the people," Chen said. "Therefore, I am against whoever is in this position to be the chairman, vice-chairman, or a member of the central committee of any political party."

Lee, who helped found the TSU in 2001 and is regarded as the party's spiritual leader, urged all legislative candidates to focus on the needs of their electoral districts.

"This three-year anniversary marks a new beginning for the TSU," Lee said. "I want to remind the candidates who are running for legislative seats to put the electorate first. Whatever they do, they should do because of the needs of their constituents."

This year, the TSU has nominated 28 legislative candidates to represent 23 electoral districts.

The former president also said that the country should let go of its past and strengthen its pro-localization politics.

TSU Chairman Huang Chu-wen (黃主文) said that the TSU contributed greatly to important national events this year, particularly the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally and the March 20 presidential election.

"I believe that the success of these events would have been hard to achieve without the TSU's participation," Huang said.

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