Fri, Apr 29, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Premier rejects interior minister's resignation offer

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has rejected Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan's (蘇嘉全) offer to resign to take the responsibility for Tuesday's clashes at the CKS International Airport.

"Somebody has to pay for it, but Su needs to stay for more important jobs and assignments," Hsieh said.

He made his remarks in response to reporters' questions during a trip to Miaoli yesterday.

RETURN HOME MARRED

Su told People First Party (PFP) Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) during a regular administrative briefing yesterday morning that he had tendered his resignation by calling Hsieh as soon as he returned on Wednesday morning from a trip to the Vatican.

Su had led the government's delegation to the installation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Lee had asked the minister what he thought of the request by some fellow lawmakers that the premier relieve him of his job.

Su immediately said he would take responsibility for what happened at the airport on Tuesday morning.

ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY

As the interior minister, Su oversees the police.

"As a superior official for my fellow police officers, I would apologize to the public on behalf of them and take responsibility," Su said.

"It is also the job of the police to track down those who violate the law no matter who they are," he said.

"My leaving the post would not be important, but maintaining public order cannot be interrupted," Su said.

"It is not his [Su's] fault and I will not blame him at all since he was representing the president at the pope's installation when the incident took place," the premier said. "He is not the person to be blamed."

"We cannot ask Su to take responsibility for everything," Hsieh stressed.

Hsieh said that the Aviation Police Bureau commissioner was the commander at the scene and therefore was the person who should take responsibility.

"We have to punish the right person," Hsieh said.

HSIEH'S WARNING

"Although the commissioner has been relieved, it is possible to relieve another commissioner if history repeats itself," he said.

Hsieh, however, refused to respond to reporters questions about Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Shih-chien's (王世堅) plans to protest at CKS International Airport when Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) returns on May 3.

Wang has been seen as Hsieh's protegee in the DPP.

Along with other DPP members, Wang led a crowd to the airport on Tuesday to protest Lien's trip to China.

Although Wang insists that members of his group were not carrying any dangerous items that could have been used to attack people, he is under investigation for violating the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法) for allegedly leading a riot at the airport.

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