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Thu, Nov 16, 2000 - Page 3 News List

DPP lashes out at Chen affair rumors

REBUTTALSaying that sories of an affair between the president and his close aide Hsiao Bi-khim are trash, DPP legislators yesterday railed against the opposition for continuing to insist there's no smoke without fire

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The woman currently at the center of allegations of extra-marital impropriety, Hsiao Bi-khim.


The DPP yesterday chastised opposition party lawmakers who have claimed that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is having an affair with one of his closest aides, Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴).

Such accusations, they said, are an attempt by opposition parties to sully "the woman's reputation" and build support for the now waning move to recall the president.

"A female, who is outstanding in her job, now becomes a scapegoat in this vicious political struggle only because opposition parties have tried all methods to recall the president [and have failed]," DPP lawmaker Chou Huey-ying (周慧瑛) said yesterday.

Chou and seven other female DPP lawmakers held a press conference to criticize three opposition lawmakers for humiliating the "dignity of women."

"We urge the PFP's Chen Chao-jung (陳朝容), the KMT's Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻), and Hsiao Chin-lan (蕭金蘭) to publicly apologize for their despicable allegations," Chou said.

Roughly 100 female DPP officials echoed those lawmakers' comments at a meeting held yesterday at party headquarters. Sitting together in front of television cameras and reporters at a press conference, they held placards which had the words "apologize," "angry" and "shut up" on them. The women called on the "shameless politicians" to publicly apologize for what they had said.

"Those three lawmakers willingly served as pawns in the political struggle, riding on their legislative immunity," said a high-ranking DPP official, Ho Pi-chen (何碧珍).

Chen, Liu and Hsiao all cited paragraphs from the recently released book Tang Fei -- in a Critical Era, (唐飛 -- 在關鍵年代裡) written by Chou Yu-kou (周玉蔻), when addressing the national affairs forum at the legislature on Tuesday. Chou hinted that a Taipei version of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair is taking place in the Presidential Office. The three opposition lawmakers urged Chen to clarify the rumors.

DPP members, however, immediately lashed out at the allegation, saying it "obviously had a political purpose," namely the recall of the president.

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday also showed her support for the president, saying she could guarantee that the love between Chen and first lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) was true and therefore that it was inconceivable that the president was having an affair.

"Chen will never do anything to hurt Wu," Lu said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of DPP supporters in Changhua County protested outside the office of PFP lawmaker Chen Chao-jung (陳朝容). Protesters accused Chen of insulting not only the president but also those who are "physically challenged."

"We know that the first lady was injured in an car accident, and therefore many political rivals have hinted that Chen had a girlfriend," Lin Chi-chang (林奇昌), leader of the protest, said.

Wu said that she had heard such allegations many times before and that she has no interest in reacting to such "malicious lies."

"Allegations that Chen has had an affair have never stopped. Each time the lady was different. I don't know who they plan to create next," she said.

The KMT and the PFP, however, yesterday insisted there was "reasonable doubt" because there has been talk about the president having an affair for such a long time.

"The president needs to clarify the issue to the public," said KMT lawmaker Liao Fung-te (廖風德), accompanied by other KMT legislative caucus members at a press conference yesterday.

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