Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (
At the fundraising event dubbed "one million citizens to depose President Chen," Shih urged Chen to stop defending himself and his family and step down before it's too late, because the Presidential Office has become a source of social instability.
"When one million citizens stand up, it won't be an ethnic clash or political confrontation. Our only goal would be to oppose corruption and depose A-bian," he said at the event held in Taipei's 228 Peace Memorial Park.
Giving a thumbs down to the president, Shih asked Chen to reflect upon his former campaign slogan in the 1998 Taipei mayoral election -- "To have dreams is beautiful, as hope follows in their wake."
Shih, who some have called the "Nelson Mandela of Taiwan" as he spent 25-years in prison for his pro-democracy activism, asked the president to think about the slogan.
"Please read the slogan out loud and repeat it to the people of Taiwan. Do you give the Taiwanese dreams and hopes?" Shih asked as he launched the campaign.
He said the campaignwasn't launched because he doesn't love the president or the DPP.
"It's because I love Taiwan, justice and integrity more," he said.
Chen Yao-chang (
"The DPP's support for the government will only jeopardize its own future and that of Taiwan," he said.
While some in the crowd were seen shedding tears at Shih's remarks and Puyuma folk singer and activist Hu De-fu's (胡德夫) music, a number of scuffles broke out between Chen's supporters and opponents.
Carrying banners that called Shih a "political pimp," the pro-independence "908 Taiwan Nation Movement" group argued with members of the pro-unification Patriot Association who were upset at the group's remarks. The two sides then began scuffling near the site of Shih's event before the police broke up the fight and ordered the protesters to leave.
Peter Wang, (
"Since the recall motion failed, what's your reason for demanding the resignation of the president? ... Are there any exchanges of interest behind your campaign?" Wang said, urging Shih to instead support his campaign to ask the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to return its stolen assets.
Shih's campaign yesterday called on a million people in Taiwan to each make a donation of NT$100 (US$3) to a bank account to fund the anti-Chen Shui-bian movement.
While the campaign to depose Chen will be formally launched on Sept. 9 with daily sit-ins in front of the Presidential Office, it may start earlier if the target can be achieved sooner, Shih said.
Ho De-fen (
The money will be used to pay for food and drinks and cleaning at the proposed sit-in site, she said.