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Tue, Nov 07, 2000 - Page 3 News List

New Party city councilors join recall campaign

JOINING THE FRAY The Taipei city lawmakers said they were pushing for the president's recall because it was in the `interests of all the people'

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

A trio of Taipei city councilors continued to voice support yesterday for a petition to recall President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

The city lawmakers said they still backed efforts to oust the president, even though Chen on Sunday publicly apologized for the timing of the government's decision to scrap the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

The city councilors were New Party members Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平), James Wei (魏憶龍) and Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基).

The three plan to visit the legislature today to observe the recall proceedings.

The city lawmakers said they would consider pushing for the recall of legislators who have signed a petition to recall Chen, but who later back down when it comes time to cast a vote.

"We're doing this in the interest of all the people and many more generations to come," Chung said. "If we keep [President Chen], Taiwan will be worse off than the Philippines because decisions made by the legislature will be reversed, tension across the Taiwan Strait will be exacerbated and the stock market and economy will be weakened," Chung said.

Chung also said that Chen's mea culpa on Sunday was insufficient to solve the current political instability.

"He offers an apology because he's scared," Chung said. "He doesn't mean it, nor does he guarantee anything in the future."

Wei said that lawmakers support recalling Chen not because the government decided to cancel the nuclear power plant, but because of "President Chen's disrespect for the legislative process and abuse of presidential power."

"We do not appreciate having a tyrant as our leader," Wei said.

The city councilor also asked KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), the initiator of the recall petition, to reveal the names of the signatures he has gathered so far.

"We'd like to see the petition pushed forward," Wei said. "Those who endorsed the petition but withdraw should be recalled."

Teng echoed Wei's view by saying that lawmakers of the opposition parties should act together.

"Ting claimed that he had solicited 149 signatures, the minimum figure required to pass the recall motion. It's important that those who have signed their names stick to their stance and act upon their conscience," Teng said.

Teng also challenged Chiu Hei-yuan (瞿海源), president of the Taipei Society (澄社), to a public debate, "if necessary."

The Taipei Society on Sunday said the opposition parties should drop its recall drive and instead launch a no-confidence vote against the Cabinet.

A no-confidence vote against the Cabinet could lead to new legislative elections, whereas a recall drive would mean a new presidential election.

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