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Sat, Jan 19, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Legislators say their farewells

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

There was a rare sentimental atmosphere in the Legislative Yuan yesterday as the fourth legislative session came to a close.

Of 218 lawmakers, 97 will not be present for the swearing in ceremony of the fifth Legislative Yuan on Feb. 1, either because they did not seek re-election or because they were defeated in the Dec. 1 elections.

The departing lawmakers got the chance to deliver their farewell addresses to their colleagues after the legislature ended its session by passing the fiscal 2002 budget.

Some sang songs to say goodbye, others were brought to tears. And others vowed to return.

Three-term KMT legislator Chen Ching-pao (陳清寶) from Kinmen, who was known for his eloquent speeches, suddenly had a problem getting the words out.

"Over the past nine years, I was always racing against time whenever I took the floor. But I wasted a lot of time today," Chen said.

In sentences interrupted by pauses, Chen said he felt very peaceful in his mind despite failing to be re-elected, as he had worked very hard during the past nine years.

Hsiao Chin-lan (蕭金蘭), also a three-term KMT legislator, from Kaohsiung County, could not help but shed tears at what may be the end of her 20-year political career.

Hsiao, who was indicted by prosecutors on charges of vote-buying three days before the Dec. 1 legislative polls, was found innocent a few days ago. The allegation was blamed for her defeat in the election.

"Many friends were indignant at this injustice. But time proved everything," Hsiao said.

Chao Erh-chung (曹爾忠), another three-term KMT legislator, from Matsu, said his heart was full of gratitude for having had the chance to sit in the legislature.

Chao said his feeling could be most properly articulated by one of his favorite hits, Exhausting the love of my lifetime.

"I have loved. I have laughed. I have hurt. And I have cried before. What else do I ask for in this life?" Chao sang, followed by enthusiastic applause from his colleagues.

But some departing legislators said the legislature hadn't heard the last of them.

Four-term legislator Wang Tein-ging (王天競) from Kaohsiung City, who joined the People First Party (PFP) in 2000 but failed to win a PFP nomination for the Dec. 1 legislative races, announced that he would soon rejoin the KMT with a view to reclaiming a legislative seat.

Three-term KMT legislator Liu Shen-liang (劉盛良) from Taipei County also indicated his plan to run for a seat again, while expressing his appreciation to his family for their support over the past 30 years of his political career.

"See you. I'll be back," Liu said in a tone full of confidence.

Meanwhile, some legislators likened their departure to graduation from schools.

Three-term New Party legislator Hsieh Chi-ta (謝啟大) said it was a matter worth celebrating to have graduated from this "graduate school," because she had learned a great deal and had successfully pushed through a lot of legislation in the past nine years.

Independent legislator Huang Ming-ho (黃明和) from Changhua County said he was a "primary school graduate" when he last left the legislature in 1993 after serving six years as a lawmaker, but that now he is a "junior high school graduate."

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