Mon, Aug 28, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Hsu urges DPP to file recall bid

CHIMING IN The former DPP chief urged his one-time colleagues to let the people have the final say on whether President Chen Shui-bian should stay or go

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Huang Kuang-kuo, center, holds up a sign calling for President Chen Shui-bian to step down at a press conference outside Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall yesterday. Huang is joined by DAA convener Chang Ya-chung, left, and former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Hsu Hsin-liang, right.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) yesterday called on the party to propose a legislative motion to recall President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). If the legislature passes the proposal, then the people should decide whether Chen should stay or go, he said.

"If the DPP was really serious about a peaceful and constitutional way to get rid of a popularly elected president, they should vote in favor of another recall motion in the legislature and let the people have the final say on the matter," Hsu said.

"Or the president could opt to voluntarily resign and let Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) take over the presidency," he said.

Hsu made the remarks while addressing a press conference held by the Democratic Action League at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall yesterday morning.

The league -- led by convener Huang Kuang-kuo (黃光國), professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) and endorsed by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) -- launched a "democracy night market" campaign at the memorial on July 27.

The league said yesterday that it would launch the second stage of its anti-Chen campaign on Friday if Chen refused to scrap a planned trip to the South Pacific.

"At this critical juncture, President Chen should stay in the country and talk with the people rather than evading the problem by traveling abroad," Huang said.

He said the league would launch a series of mass protests at the memorial, beginning on Friday, if Chen insists on going ahead with the trip.

An evening activity, dubbed "bidding farewell to the god of plague," is scheduled for Saturday.

"If he likes to stay out of the country so much, then he should stay out and never come back," Huang said.

Chen is scheduled to leave for a three-day state visit to Palau and Nauru on Sunday.

He will attend a summit with the nation's six Pacific island allies in Palau. He is also scheduled to deliver a speech to Nauru's parliament.

Huang called on opposition parties to be more pro-active instead of "sitting on the top of the mountain to watch the tigers fight" and reaping the spoils when both sides are exhausted.

In response, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) said that the pan-blue camp had initiated a recall motion in June. That motion failed to meet the legal threshold needed to pass.

The reason the KMT was cool about the current anti-Chen campaign was because it did not want to see the campaign escalate into a confrontation between the pan-blue and pan-green camps, he said.

"Only with the support of righteous DPP legislators can the anti-Chen campaign be successful," he said.

Although the league shared a common goal with the campaign initiated by another former DPP chairman, Shih Ming-teh (施明德), to oust Chen, the league has had difficulty attracting participants and raising funds, while Shih claims to have raised more than NT$100 million (US$3.1 million) and obtained the support of 1 million people.

Shih's campaign office yesterday said that his movement would stage a sit-in in front of the Presidential Office no later than Sept. 9.

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