Sun, May 28, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung's Yeh attacks president's critics

STEP UP TO THE PLATE The acting Kaohsiung mayor said that now was not the right time to desert the president as both he and the DPP needed all the help they could get

By Lin Ya-li  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Acting Kaohsiung Mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) yesterday asked the Cabinet to come forth and help maintain stability in view of recent calls from within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) asking President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to share power with other party bigwigs in the midst of a spate of corruption scandals surrounding government officials and Chen's son-in-law.

Chen has become mired in a series of corruption allegations relating to his wife, close aides and high-ranking government officials in recent months, and is now embroiled in a serious crisis after his son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘), was taken into custody on Thursday by the Taipei Prosecutor's Office over his alleged role in an insider trading scandal that has led to the detention of three other key suspects.

Yeh, who formerly served as vice premier, yesterday in Kaohsiung expressed her dissatisfaction over some party members' rhetoric and lambasted them for having their eyes focused on power and not the people.

"Will it win [you] respect if [you] distance yourself from A-bian now?" she asked, calling President Chen by his nickname. "If it weren't because of Chen Shui-bian and the fact that the DPP is now in power, would these people hold the positions they hold now? Isn't it the right time to help the party shoulder some of the responsibility?"

She added that she was speaking out on on this because she did not belong to any faction within the party.

Several DPP legislators suggested on Friday that Chen share power with other party bigwigs or delegate power to the premier in the wake of the detention of his son-in-law on suspicion of insider trading.

Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) said he agreed with the proposal presented by his colleague Julian Kuo (郭正亮) a day earlier that Chen and party heavyweights -- Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and party Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, as well as leaders of the party's four factions -- consult with each other and make joint decisions on issues of major national concern.

Kuo, who along with Chen is a member of the Justice Faction, said that the president should share power in governing the nation in an effort to rebuild the party's integrity.

The DPP should stop its fierce infighting and select a candidate in February next year to prepare for the 2008 presidential election, he suggested.

As stripping the president of his DPP membership or pushing for his recall was not the way to resolve the problems facing Taiwan, Chen should consider accepting the "collective leadership" idea as it would give him a group to count on when making national policy decisions, Lin said.

He added that Chen should fully delegate his powers to the premier and allow the leadership collective to rule the country, adding that the president should only serve as the axis of the governing leadership during the last two years of his second term.

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