Sat, Mar 27, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP warns of possible violence at KMT rally

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday reminded Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of his duty to ensure stability in the capital during the pan-blue camp's massive rally today, instead of just serving as the opposition parties' campaign manager and expanding the protest.

Moreover, the party asked all supporters to keep away from the rally to avoid conflict, saying that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) may fabricate a bloody incident during the rally and accuse the DPP of resorting to violence.

The DPP said that, according to reliable information, today's rally may get out of control due to the actions of certain elements who wish to incite conflict. Therefore, the party urged Ma to promise ending the rally by the legally permitted time of 6pm.

DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) also ordered staff members from all district party headquarters to stay in their offices to closely monitor developments at the rally.

"I want all party officials to properly cope with any possible situations, and I warn all party members that those who go to the rally will be severely punished," Chang said.

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said that the party has received reports from local party headquarters in Maioli and Changhua Counties that KMT leaders had ordered supporters to collect DPP campaign paraphenalia and flags.

"We therefore ask the police directly to expel anyone who is wearing clothing with DPP marks from the rally, because they are absolutely not authorized by the DPP," Lee stressed.

Lee, on behalf of the DPP, asked Ma how he could attend the rally as party leader, and at the same time appeal to demonstrators to go home.

"As the mayor, [Ma's] obligation is to ensure the rights of the 2 million residents and the international image of the city. But as the KMT's presidential campaign manager, you have to mobilize supporters. So we are wondering what role exactly you will choose [today]?" Lee asked.

Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), director of the public affairs department of the DPP's campaign headquarters, also displayed documents from the KMT's Taipei City Headquarters, which showed that the party asked supporters to join the rally and demonstration not only today, but also on Monday.

"The KMT's document says that members should attend the rally to 11pm on Saturday, and attend another demonstration on Monday," Cheng said.

"Mayor Ma has given a privilege to those conducting illegal demonstrations in front of the President Office by giving permission to illegal demonstrations three times over the past week," Cheng said. "We hope that there will be no fourth recurrence on Saturday."

Concerning the DPP supporters' increasing anger with the demonstrations by the pan-blue camp, the party yesterday continued to issue advertisements in newspapers to call on supporters to believe in the government and remain silent.

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