Fri, Mar 26, 2004 - Page 2 News List

KMT lawmakers' departure raises questions of motive

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

The departure of several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for Europe just days ahead of the KMT's planned rally tomorrow has provoked questions about the motivation behind the trip in light of the post-election turmoil.

A group of legislators, led by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chung-mo (林重謨), left late Tuesday night to present Taiwan's case for membership in the World Health Organization (WHO) to several European nations.

KMT legislators Yang Li-huan (楊麗環), Chen Li-hui (陳麗惠), and Hsu Chung-hsiung (徐中雄), commonly viewed as part of the KMT's pro-localization faction, were part of the group that left on Tuesday night.

speculation

This has caused speculation as to whether the lawmakers were using the trip as an excuse to avoid participation in tomorrow's rally called to protest the election results.

"The trip was finalized on March 16, before the elections. Furthermore, all three legislators checked with KMT headquarters before confirming that they would attend. Hsu's wife plans on representing him at the rally on Saturday [tomorrow]. Hsu's trip has nothing to do with the March 27 rally," Hsu's legislative aide said.

Meanwhile, People First Party (PFP) legislators Sun Ta-chien (孫大千), Yang Fumei (楊富美) and Tsai Chung-han (蔡中涵), along with KMT Legislator Bill Sun (孫國華), decided not to participate in the tour despite having earlier been on the list.

meeting

DPP Legislator Chien Chao-tung (簡肇棟) explained that the trip would take the lawmakers to Germany, Ireland, Italy and France, where they planned to meet health officials as well as legislative representatives. While some of the legislators will return on April 3, some of them will travel on to Japan.

Meanwhile, media reports have also raised similar suspicions regarding KMT Legislator Chen Hung-chang's (陳宏昌) recent departure for the US. However, according to the Chinese language media, Chen's aides yesterday said that he was merely visiting his son who is studying in the US.

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