Mon, Jul 05, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Lien Chan unhappy about probe into attack on president

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

After months of demanding an investigation into the shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday criticized Chen's interest in setting up a commission to probe the March 19 shooting as "lacking fairness."

"Legally speaking, it is inappropriate," Lien said, referring to reports that Chen would set up a commission to investigate the March 19 shooting of Chen and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

Chen and Lu were slightly wounded by gunfire during campaigning in Tainan City on the eve of the presidential election. The KMT-People First Party (PFP) alliance has continued to claim or imply that the shooting was staged to win sympathy votes for Chen.

No evidence has been brought forward so far to back up this claim.

Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General James Huang (黃志芳) yesterday said that Chen is more concerned than anyone else about the investigation, and is now canvassing the views of a number of advisors.

Huang said Chen had yet to reach a final decision on whether or not to set up a commission.

Saying that setting up a commission was "better late than never," Lien still criticized the announcement as "too slow" and said that as a victim of the shooting, Chen should not determine the membership of the commission.

"I want to remind [Chen] that given he is a person of interest [in the investigation], for him to then order a commission to be set up and decide on its terms of reference is like playing the role of both a player and a referee," he said.

Lien has refused to concede defeat in the March 20 presidential election.

Lien suggested that the commission should only be set up by judicial procedure, which would allow it to have the "appropriate authority."

Lien said that the KMT legislative caucus would continue to push for the formation of an investigation commission during the next legislative session.

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