Fri, Jan 20, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh backs need for party debates

DPP'S FUTURE Frank Hsieh said discussions should be held to clarify the direction of the party

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Outgoing Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday echoed the president's call to hold a debate on the party's direction and policies.

"I agree to put major decisions on the table for rational debate," he said. "This includes such issues as cross-strait, the relationship with opposition parties and the path of the party."

Hsieh made the remarks in response to comments made by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday morning when he announced that former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) will take over as premier.

Hsieh steps down on Monday.

Chen said that he supported the idea of holding a debate for DPP members to discuss the party's future path and policies as soon as possible because only by outlining a crystal clear direction can the party hold its members together and win the people's trust.

Hsieh joked as he expressed his hope that his successor would stay on the job longer than he has.

"Now I am the chairman of the `former premiers' club,'" Hsieh said.

"I just issued an order requesting that the new premier not be allowed to join the club until he has stayed on the job for at least two years," he said.

Hsieh was responding to a media inquiry about whether the Executive Yuan would call for Chen to request the legislature reconsider the recently passed budget plan.

On Jan. 12 the legislature cut two-thirds of the Cabinet's annual budget proposal.

Hsieh last week said he would consider asking the president to request that the legislature reconsider the law. However, he pulled back after realizing that the Presidential Office did not support the move.

On Tuesday, Hsieh cited the failure of the legislature to approve this year's budget as the reason he was stepping down.

Hsieh yesterday said that it was no longer important for him to say anything about the budget reconsideration plan because he will soon leave office.

When asked about the Kao-hsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) case, Hsieh said he would cooperate fully with the judiciary if necessary and that he would not request any privileges or special treatment.

While the president announced the new premier in Taipei, Hsieh was in Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) in Taoyuan County and let Cabinet Spokesman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) face the media alone.

Cho said that the Executive Yuan would like to give its most sincere greetings to the incoming Cabinet and help them complete the hand-over before the Lunar New Year.

Cho also dismissed a media report claiming that Hsieh had requested Su play down the KRTC controversy after taking office, saying that Hsieh just did not want to see major public infrastructure projects be given a bad name, as has happened with Kaohsiung's subway system.

Cho said that Hsieh has instructed all ministries to supply information on major government bills, budgets and policies to the new Cabinet.

This story has been viewed 2525 times.
TOP top