Sat, Mar 20, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Tainan residents gather at hospital to support president


Hundreds of Tainan residents yesterday gathered in front of Tainan County's Chi Mei Medical Center to show their strong support for President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) after hearing they had been shot.

After both Chen and Lu arrived at the hospital, pan-green supporters grew in number, waving flags and banners. Watched by hundreds of police officers, they stood outside the hospital' s emergency room, shouting "Elect A-bian!" The supporters condemned the shooting, with some crying out and demanding justice for Chen and Lu.

During the five hours Chen and Lu were in the hospital, local political figures visited them to express their commiserations.

"It' s not the time to evaluate the electoral situation but to consider the issue of national security," Tainan County Commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) said after visiting the hospital.

"How could a terrible thing like this happen? This incident comes just as the people are at the end of their patience," Tainan County Councillor Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) told the Taipei Times outside the hospital. Lin said she and many supporters cried when hearing the news of the shooting.

At the time they had been waiting for the green-camp candidates to reach Yungkang township, adjacent to Tainan City.

But Yungkang's pro-DPP residents soon headed for the hospital, where the crowd's grief and indignation was becoming more pronounced. When the cancellation of campaign rallies in southern Taiwan was announced, more pan-green supporters descended upon the hospital.

Chen and Lu left the hospital at 7:10pm under heavy guard.

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