Sun, Feb 27, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Hsieh accepts official's resignation

VOTE-BUYING CHARGES Though he emphasized that Chen Chien-nien was innocent until proven guilty, the premier made the move to preserve the Cabinet's image

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday confirmed that Council of Indigenous Peoples Chairman Chen Chien-nien (陳建年) has offered his resignation to him and that he will accept it.

"[Chen] has submitted his resignation to me regarding his being indicted for allegedly buying votes for his daughter Chen Ying (陳瑩)," Hsieh said. "I will approve it anyway but I need some time to process the paper work."

Chen Chien-nien was indicted for allegedly buying votes for his daughter. Nevertheless, Chen Ying just won her fist legislative campaign last December and is now a Democratic Progressive Party Aboriginal legislator.

Hsieh made his remarks when he was approached by reporters during a seminar with local county commissioners and city mayors in Taitung yesterday.

"However, please do not get me wrong: Chen Chien-nien's resigning from his post does not mean he is guilty," the premier said. "Before being tried, everybody is innocent. He resigned only because he is afraid of damaging the Cabinet's public image and reputation. That is all."

In the meantime, Hsieh also mentioned that no law stipulates that a public official must step down immediately once he is indicted. However, he understood Chen Chien-nien's concerns about the effect of the charges on the government.

Chen Ying insisted that her father is innocent in Taipei yesterday. She said that her father was sacrificed because of the hatred between different political parties.

"[Prosecutors] indicted my father even though they had not collected sufficient evidence," Chen said. "I will definitely appeal for my father in the future no matter what, until he is proclaimed innocent."

Chen Chien-nien was indicted by Taitung Prosecutor Yang Ta-chih (楊大智). He was a Hualien prosecutor but he requested to be transferred to Taitung in December, 2003, because his wife is also working as a prosecutor there. He has been viewed as a pan-blue camp supporter because of his criticism of the DPP government.

During the Hualien County commissioner by-election in the summer of 2003, Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) launched a 24-hour roadside check of motorists to prevent vote-buying. Yang complained and said the check was unconstitutional. His criticism irritated his superiors, including then-justice minister Chen Ding-nan (陳定南).

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