Tue, Nov 30, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Number of elections should be reduced, President Chen says

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday there were too many elections, and that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) have continued to destabilize the nation.

"Lien and Soong have never stopped inciting chaos in Taiwan since they lost the elections in 2000 and in 2004," Chen said. "They never believed in the head of state as rightfully elected by the people."

"And as far as I know, [Lien and Soong] plan to run in the presidential election in 2008," Chen said. "I think it is alright for them to be so ambitious, but I hope they stop causing all this turmoil."

The president also revealed toward the end of his speech plans to reform the law in order to reduce the number of elections. He said there are too many elections, with either a presidential, legislative, county or city council election taking place almost every year. He did not elaborate on the plan. Chen made the remarks in a legislative election campaign rally held in Chiayi County last night, which attracted about 20,000 pan-green supporters.

In the rally, Chen called on voters to use their ballots to wipe out the "three banes of Taiwan" brought by the pan-blue camp over the past three years. He also urged people to give the pan-green camp a chance to govern the country with a majority in the legislature.

The "three banes of Taiwan" include the pan-blue camp's exploitation of its current majority in the legislature to boycott bills proposed by the pan-green camp, which Chen says has blocked as many as 1,200 pieces of legislation. Such a boycott has created an unstable legislature and prevents the country from developing, according to Chen.

Another one of the "banes" is Lien and Soong's stubbornness with regard to the presidential election -- which drove them to encourage their supporters and some legislators to cause disturbances across the nation. The final "bane" was "the canker of the one-party state system," Chen said.

Chen highlighted what he thought were "unjust phenomena" in the nation which needed to be eliminated. He said voting for pan-green legislative candidates would accomplish this aim.

Chen reiterated his vow to step down from the presidency if the pan-greens win a majority in the legislature, but fail to move ahead with this reform agenda.

"I hope that all of you give me a chance and promise me a stable majority legislature," Chen said. "I promise, give me two years and I will govern the country well. Otherwise I would resign from office."

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