Sun, Nov 05, 2006 - Page 1 News List

DPP legislators silent on indictment

TIGHT-LIPPED Following a meeting, ruling party members agreed that they would not comment to the media about the scandal that has enveloped the first family

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Weighed down by the indictment of first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) for alleged corruption, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters and caucus yesterday remained quiet and appeared to be in low spirits.

When approached by the press in the Legislature yesterday morning, DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) left his office without giving his opinions.

Former DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康), known for his outspokenness, said in a phone interview that a consensus was reached in a Friday night meeting that DPP members would not accept media interviews on the matter.

DPP Legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) also refused to comment on the indictment or on details of the meeting when quizzed by members of the press over the telephone.

DPP Legislator Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶) said that he found it difficult to believe that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) could be involved in corruption.

DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun said at a campaign event yesterday that the party respected the judiciary, but "the judicial judgment may not necessarily be correct."

In contrast to the depressed mood among DPP legislators, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday again urged Chen to resign as soon as possible and allow Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to succeed to the presidency.

KMT Legislator Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍) said that Chen had lost the public's support. According to the latest opinion polls conducted by the Chinese-language China Times, United Daily News and TVBS, 60 percent of respondents believed Chen should step down.

Hsu urged DPP lawmakers and party heavyweights to distance themselves from Chen "to save the DPP's future."

Hsu told a press conference that social stability would be better guaranteed if Chen resigned, adding that the KMT caucus would continue pushing a third recall motion in the Legislature tomorrow if Chen insisted on staying put.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), which said on Friday that it would support the pan-blues' proposal to recall Chen, said yesterday that it would not support the pan-blues' demand that Chen step down within 48 hours or else they would initiate a recall motion against him.

Chen should be given time so he can explain his side of story, the TSU said yesterday.

Meanwhile, DPP Taipei mayoral candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) stuck to his original plans yesterday afternoon and held a parade to celebrate the establishment of his campaign headquarters.

During the event, Hsieh said that he believed all the difficulties would eventually be overcome given that the "state affairs fund" case is now being handled by the judiciary.

Hsieh's TSU counterpart Clara Chou (周玉蔻) yesterday showed the press a letter she wrote which had been endorsed by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) on Thursday.

In the letter, Lee, regarded by the TSU as its spiritual leader, said that he did not support the "corrupt and incompetent DPP" and that "Taiwan will be beyond redemption if voters support the corrupt DPP."

The letter ended with a call urging voters to cast their ballots for Chou.

DPP Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Chen Chu (陳菊) said at a campaign event yesterday that president Chen should explain to the public the details of how the Presidential Office used the state affairs fund.

also see stories:

Presidential Office in crisis: Ma calls on DPP to join recall motion

Presidential Office in crisis: Prosecutor Eric Chen: Staying true to his principles

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