President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said last night that he would relinquish his party responsibilities and focus solely on doing his job as the president, leaving it to ranking Cabinet and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members to make their own calls on other matters.
Chen made the remarks during a meeting with high-ranking officials at the Presidential Office, according to a CNA report.
Among those who attended the meeting were Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山) and National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁).
Chen, who convened the meeting, told those in attendance that "his heart felt heavy" in view of the spate of recent scandals concerning his family and that he himself had undergone "deep introspection."
Among the major resolutions he made, Chen said, was that from now on all Cabinet-related matters would be in the hands of the premier. The president also said that he would respect Su's nominations for Cabinet personnel.
Chen said that although as a member of the DPP he had an obligation to make a contribution to the party, he would no longer participate in DPP internal affairs, nor campaign on behalf of party members running for public office.
The president also said that from now on, other than charity events, members of his family "absolutely" would not be allowed to take part in any other public matters.
He added that he was determined to keep his word.