Sat, Nov 20, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP campaign picks up steam

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN HSINCHU

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said last night that former defense minister Chiang Chung-ling (蔣仲苓) and former director of the Vocational Assistance Commission for Retired Servicemen (退輔會) Hsu Li-lung (許歷農) were the ones behind his recent comments about a "soft coup d'etat."

Chen made the revelation during a campaign rally in Hsinchu County, one week after he first revealed that the opposition pan-blue camp had attempted to launch a "soft coup d'etat" in the wake of the March presidential election.

Cabinet officials such as Government Information Office (GIO) Director-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and Council for Economic Planning and Development Vice Chairman Chang Ching-sen (張景森) also made speeches to back up the DPP's administration during the rally.

Lin yesterday targeted Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for Ma's remarks attacking Chen over traffic regulations.

Lin said Ma only wanted to hide his incompetence in handling municipal affairs and highlight himself as the pan-blue camp's would-be leader.

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who also participated in the Hsinchu City rally, stressed the importance of legislative reform and strongly backed legislative caucus leader Kerr Chien-ming (柯建銘), who is campaigning in Hsinchu City.

Earlier in the morning, the DPP was busy responding to the news that Taitung County Commissioner Hsu Ching-yuan (徐慶元), who yesterday announced that he would withdraw from the People First Party and promised that he would appear onstage with Chen at a rally for DPP candidate Hsu Jui-kui (許瑞貴) in Taitung County.

DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday said that he called Hsu Chin-yuan and expressed his appreciation to him for supporting the DPP.

Chang said that he and Hsu Ching-yuan had a good conversation, adding that he will go to Taitung County to discuss campaign details with him.

"The DPP has the same view as Commissioner Hsu: that there should be balanced development in eastern Taiwan as well as western Taiwan," Chang said.

"As long as the policies and budget that the local government has are beneficial to local people, the DPP government is willing to give its support, regardless of whether the local chiefs are of the pan-green or pan-blue camp," Chang said.

"We respect Commissioner Hsu's political decision to become a public figure without party affiliation," Chang said.

"But I believe the commissioner's example shows that there is no problem for the central and local governments to cooperate with each other closely, as long as local development is the first concern."

"We never talked about Hsu's future, and it is impossible that we offered any incentives, as the pan-blue camp accused," Chang said, asking the pan-blues to stop attacking Hsu.

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