Sun, Jun 11, 2006 - Page 1 News List

DPP makes appeal to cease recall bid

PRIORITIES Members of the party called on the pan-blue alliance to put aside political infighting and join it in flood relief in light of the recent deluge of rain

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged the opposition to halt all activities related to recalling President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), and instead make flood relief the top priority.

Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), director of DPP's Department of Culture and Information, made the appeal as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) canceled a plan to hold rallies to protest against Chen in Tainan and Kaohsiung yesterday due to torrential rains.

Instead, KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took part in a protest rally held by the KMT's ally, the People First Party, in front of the Presidential Office to demand that Chen step down.

Chen, on the other hand, was accompanied by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday to inspect flooding in Chiayi and Yunlin counties in view of days of torrential rain that has wreaked havoc in several places around central and southern Taiwan.

It marked the pair's first joint public appearance since Chen announced he would delegate his powers to Su and ranking party officials on May 31.

Officials, who were originally scheduled to fly down from Taipei to make the inspection, instead went by car because of the bad weather.

The president did not make any speeches after the inspections, while Su, commenting on the opposition's rally, said: "I believe that our people do not need any more political tugs-of-war, but they do need some ways to resolve their daily problems."

"As a result, I would urge our lawmakers to stop arguing and start to approve more proposals or budgets that can help the people," Su said.

Tsai said the president was concerned about the people and had chosen to side with the people, although related disaster relief work would be the responsibility of the Executive Yuan.

Tsai urged the opposition to stop political infighting and join the DPP in disaster relief work.

It should also agree to convene an extraordinary session immediately to review budgets related to flood-fighting, he added.

Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津), a DPP caucus whip, made similar comments, calling for the opposition to put aside political infighting and address the people's woes.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) will convene an informal meeting tomorrow during which the time and agenda for an extraordinary session will be set, but Yeh said she regretted that the opposition planned to make Chen's recall the top priority for the extra session.

With the flooding, she said, the first-stage special budget for flood prevention has become more urgent.

Meanwhile, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday that the recall motion initiated by opposition parties would only plunge the nation into political confrontation and social turmoil.

"The recall campaign is doomed to fail," she said. "Nobody will get anything good out of it and it is bound to worsen political hostilities and cause social instability."

Lu made the remarks while addressing a conference organized by the National Central Library to discuss the cultural discourse of national identity.

If the pan-blue alliance manages to place the recall motion as the first of its 14 bills on the agenda for the proposed extraordinary legislative session, Lu said she expected to see the nation descend into political and social unrest.

Instead of engaging in a zero-sum political game, Lu called on the governing and opposition parties to map out a strategy whereby everybody wins.

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