Tue, Nov 16, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blues deny attempted coup

RETALIATION KMT and PFP officials said that the president should provide evidence to back up his claims that the parties tried to oust Chen after the presidential election

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) should provide proof if he continues to claim that the pan-blue alliance was seeking to initiate a "soft coup-d'etat" after the March 20 presidential election, the pan-blue camp said yesterday, while calling upon the Ministry of National Defense (MND) to bring a lawsuit against the president.

Retaliating against remarks made by Chen while the president was campaigning in Taipei County Sunday night, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) denied the allegations and said that Chen should provide evidence, if he had any.

"I think this time Chen's accusations are very, very serious. Because he told all of the nation's people that he has all the evidence in his hands, Chen should take responsibility and take action to stabilize the country and execute the nation's laws," Lien said yesterday in a press conference at KMT headquarters.

"Otherwise, Chen's guilty conscience, gossip-mongering, and inability to lead the country, these are serious things. We will pursue this to the end," Lien said.

KMT spokesperson Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) later explained that "Chen's guilty conscience" was a reference to the pan-blue camp's long-standing accusation that Chen and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration manipulated the results of the presidential election earlier this year.

"He is saying these things only to make headlines and increase the DPP's support from voters [in the year-end legislative elections]. An administration should rely on its accomplishments to win people's hearts, not use fear to threaten people," Chang said yesterday.

Chen's allegations are also a serious accusation against Taiwan's military and the Ministry of National Defense, Chang said yesterday, adding that Chen's remarks completely ignore the contributions and loyalty of Tang Yao-ming (湯曜明), who was Minister of Defense during the election.

At a press conference yesterday, the KMT legislative caucus also called on Chen to provide evidence to support his claims and further encouraged the defense ministry to initiate a lawsuit against the president for defamation.

In response, opposition People First Party (PFP) caucus leader Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said "Chen is having a delusion."

Speaking in response to reporters' questions yesterday, Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) -- also a KMT vice chairman -- criticized Chen for causing further divisions within the nation with his remarks.

"As the nation's leader, as our symbol of unity, Chen should not define opposition parties as coup-d'etat instigators. With a situation like this, I can see that society will become even more divided after the legislative elections," the mayor said.

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