Sun, Dec 05, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Pan-blue and TSU rallies today spark fears of violence

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Taipei City police should not have issued permits allowing two rival parties to have rallies on the same day in the same city, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), said yesterday, worrying there might be violent clashes.

Both the pan-blue alliance, made up of supporters of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP), and the TSU plan to mobilize more than 100,000 people to attend events today ahead of the Dec. 11 legislative elections.

While the pan-blue camp will march from the Taipei City Council offices to the Legislative Yuan, the TSU will gather on Ketagelan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

Chen said that the TSU filed its application with the police a month ago on Nov. 3, and the application by the pan-blue camp was filed much later.

Also, Chen said, the TSU has received information indicating that some radical supporters of the pan-blue camp might take the opportunity to attack former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who will participate in the TSU rally.

In addition to promoting the writing of a new constitution and rectifying the name of the country, Lee will also try to give voters a clear idea of the differences between the TSU and the Democratic Progressive Party in order to consolidate the TSU's support base in the elections, sources said.

In response to Chen's concerns, officials at the Taipei City Police Department said the two rallies were permitted according to law and that the order in which the applications were submitted was not a consideration.

A large police force will be deployed to maintain order at the rallies to prevent any violent incidents, the officials said.

The pan-blue camp's rally will march from the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei at 2pm this afternoon to arrive at the Legislative Yuan at 4pm. At the Legislative Yuan, the KMT and its allies the PFP and New Party plan to hold a series of events which will feature musical performances and speeches from KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and vice-chairmen Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), as well as PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明).

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