The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) highest decision-making body yesterday promised to support the president, as he faces his third attempted recall motion initiated by the opposition parties.
The DPP approved a resolution opposing the recall, and also stated its support for President Chen Shui-bian (
At a press conference held following the party's weekly Central Executive Committee meeting yesterday afternoon, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun said the majority of the commitee members, including Premier Su Tseng-chang (
"Chen has shouldered his political responsibility and held himself to a standard higher than the party's disciplinary mechanism, as shown in his national address on Sunday," Yu said.
Yu was referring to the televised speech on Sunday during which Chen said he would step down if the first lady were found guilty.
Prosecutors said they had enough evidence to bring charges against Chen, but the president enjoys immunity from prosecution while in office.
Yu said Chen was applying "a higher standard" to himself, because promising to tender his resignation is much more serious than being expelled from the party.
But Yu said that if the president really stepped down after the first lady's trial, the party might also decide to punish him.
Since the party had decided to oppose the third recall motion, anyone who violates the resolution will be punished, Yu added.
Earlier in the day, Hsieh, who left early to deal with a cyber attack against his campaign Web site, told the press that although the party opposed the recall motion, dissident opinions are also respected.
Before the meeting started yesterday, DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) told the press that he still believed Chen should leave his post and focus on preparing for the trial.
"If [we consider] the president family, we should offer him suggestions out of our goodwill," Cheng said. "Although many people have different opinions, I still choose to come and voice mine. I believe this is the best for the DPP's image."
DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said the most important thing for the party now is for its members to project a united front in the face of the recall motion.
"If a consensus is reached, everyone please understand that the DPP certainly has to take a consistent attitude [toward Chen's case] during this difficult time," Gao said before the meeting began.
DPP Legislator William Lai (
Former DPP legislator Tuan Yi-kang (
Meanwhile, Chuang Yen (
Dressed in white, Chuang urged DPP's executive committee members to "follow their conscience" and expel the first lady, the president and the three indicted aides.