Tue, Oct 10, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Chen, Lu to attend Double Ten Day ceremony

WORDPLAY Shih Ming-teh said the government and the DPP have been acting like `Hitler, Mussolini and the Chinese government' in trying to discredit his campaign

By Flora Wang and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will attend today's Double Ten National Day celebrations despite security concerns, while the leader of the anti-Chen campaign vowed to stage a non-violent siege of the Presidential Office.

Despite the advice of the national security agencies, "The president's planned schedule will not be affected," the Presidential Office said in a statement yesterday.

In an itinerary e-mailed to reporters, the Presidential Office said that Chen and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) would attend the Double Ten National Day ceremony starting at 9am.

Former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) told a press conference that, although there have been rumors over the past few days that serious confrontations may take place during tomorrow's planned siege, Shih's anti-Chen camp will be "peaceful and non-violent."

ACCUSATION

Shih then accused the government and the DPP of acting like "Hitler, Mussolini and the Chinese government" in trying to discredit his campaign.

However, Shih said Chen need not worry. If Chen was assassinated today, Shih said, he would also commit suicide.

He also speculated that the president might say something damaging to cross-strait relations because of feeling too much pressure from the anti-Chen campaign.

"The only thing we ask for is a government free from corruption and a harmonious nation without divided ethnic communities and confrontations between parties," Shih said.

"We would like to establish [a country where we can] teach our children and students what honor and sense of shame is, what sense of responsibility is, what honesty is and what justice is," he said.

LEGISLATIVE RECALL

A campaign organizer, Emile Sheng (盛治仁), said that the anti-Chen campaign was insisting on launching its recall campaign against pan-green legislators on Double Ten National Day because the "people's recall right was `kidnapped' by the DPP." Sheng said the DPP had done this by banning its legislators from "stepping into the voting booth [the legislature on Friday]."

In response to the campaign's legislator recall plan, former DPP legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) told an earlier press conference that Shih's "drastic words and action" have actually aroused the DPP's indignation and united it to fight a common enemy -- Shih.

Meanwhile, Chen yesterday called on his opponents to use wisdom to enjoy their hard-earned freedom rather than abuse it and cause social unrest.

"Taiwan is an emerging democracy and the only genuine democracy among culturally Chinese societies" he said.

"We have faith in the wisdom of the Taiwanese people. The country requires their careful protection and national interest is always greater than personal interest," he said.

Chen made the remarks while addressing a state banquet held to welcome Sao Tome and Principe President Fradique De Menezes in Taipei.

He said that all countries face difficulties during any process of democratization.

"No matter what their problems are, I believe democracy, freedom, peace and human rights are the right way to go and they are the common goal we all share," he said.

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