Mon, Nov 29, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Lien asks Chen to clarify stance

TOO AMBIGUOUS The KMT chairman said the president should specify whether he wants to rewrite or just reform the Constitution, and said the pan-blues support reform

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The pan-blue camp's lawyers said yesterday they would appeal to the Supreme Court today regarding a verdict declared by the High Court on Nov. 4, that ruled the re-election of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) as valid.

The lawyers said they would file the appeal against Chen and Lu at court today. They plan to hold a press conference afterward to explain why they decided to make the move.

Meanwhile, voters that wish to maintain the status quo and support constitutional reforms should vote for pan-blue camp candidates in the upcoming legislative elections, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday.

Responding to Chen's campaign speech on Saturday night, Lien called on Chen to clearly identify his position on changes to Taiwan's Constitution in order to give voters a better idea of whom to pick in the Dec. 11 elections.

In his speech on Saturday, Chen identified a number of constitutional reforms he supported, calling for "an end to the use of the Chinese constitutional law in Taiwan." Last night, however, Chen deliberately left open the question of whether he believes Taiwan should completely rewrite its Constitution or merely reform the existing one.

There are many differing opinions in Taiwan about whether to revise Taiwan's Constitution or write a new one, Lien said yesterday.

The KMT, People First Party (PFP), and the New Party support making reforms to the Constitution, in order to tailor the nation's constitutional law to suit Taiwan's current needs, Lien said yesterday while stumping for pan-blue candidate Alex Fei (費鴻泰) in Taipei.

Fei is a New Party member who is running under the KMT banner in Taipei's north voting district.

In contrast, Chen has still not made clear whether he supports rewriting or just reforming the Constitution, Lien said yesterday, adding that such ambiguity is confusing for voters.

"People who support rewriting the Constitution, should vote for that `little party' [the Taiwanese Solidarity Union (TSU)]. Those who support constitutional reform, should vote for KMT, PFP and New Party candidates," Lien said yesterday.

While Chen and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have been unclear about whether they support completely rewriting or just reforming the Constitution, the TSU's spiritual leader, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), has been vocal in his calls for a new constitution.

In a press release issued by the KMT late Saturday night after Chen's speech, KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) criticized Chen's call for putting an end to the use of the Chinese Constitution as a misunderstanding of the current situation and a move towards independence for Taiwan.

In the statement, Chang said that the Constitution used by Taiwan was never called the "Chinese Constitution" but is instead the Constitution of the Republic of China.

As a result, Chang warned, Chen's words could be interpreted by China to mean that the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China's constitution includes Taiwan.

Furthermore, said Chang, while Taiwan's people and the KMT do not support the positions held forth in China's constitution, they value the status quo.

Chen's direct call for an end to the use of a Chinese constitution in Taiwan will only derail any chances for cross-strait peace, Chang said.

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