Taiwan's current domestic political crisis is not over yet, despite a presidential apology aimed at defusing the partisan fray sparked by the government's abrupt decision to abort a nuclear power plant, an opposition leader said yesterday.
\nIn a radio talk show, People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said that although President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) made a televised apology on Sunday for the "poorly timed" announcement of the decision, the opposition -- particularly KMT lawmakers -- remain distrustful of Chen's sincerity.
\nSoong, who lost to Chen in the March 18 presidential election by a small margin, said the president will have to offer more than just conciliatory remarks before opposition lawmakers will drop their bid to remove him from office.
\n"Whether the current political stalemate can be resolved will hinge on President Chen's deeds," Soong said, suggesting that Chen should "adjust his mindset" and his "arbitrary" leadership style.
\nThe Presidential Office yesterday continued to express its desire for reconciliation with opposition parties, saying that the president and the Cabinet would adhere to the spirit of the Constitution while making controversial policies and appealed to the opposition parties to return to "rational negotiation with the government."
\n"President Chen Shui-bian has already apologized and promised he will definitely negotiate with opposition parties before making important policies," said secretary-general to the president, Yu Shyi-kun, yesterday during his regular weekly press conference.
\n"If it were necessary and in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution, the DPP would even accept a coalition government," Yu said.
\nChen has repeatedly said since his inauguration on May 20 that if the DPP had to organize a coalition government with the KMT, then the transfer of power would mean nothing.
\n"People would question why they needed to elect a new president," Chen has told reporters for the past five months.
\nThe three opposition parties, however, yesterday urged Chen to undertake concrete measures to demonstrate adherence to the Constitution and forestall the threatened presidential recall, rather than simply give "lip service," saying that "actions speak louder than words."
\n"President Chen has still not given a concrete answer to solve the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant (
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
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