Mon, May 29, 2006 - Page 3 News List

PFP, KMT call on President Chen to step down

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

While differing on the issue of whether or not to recall President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), both the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) yesterday called on the president to resign from his post for the sake of Taiwan's democracy.

"The PFP proposed recalling the president because we want President Chen to be held responsible for the damage [recent] scandals have done to the nation's image. But at the same time, [Chen] should just resign from his post," PFP Spokesman Hsieh Kung-pin (謝公秉) said yesterday at PFP headquarters.

The PFP launched a campaign to recall Chen on Saturday, with party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) seeking support from other party leaders, including KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who he met on Friday night.

Soong said that the pan-blue camp must not sit idly by waiting for the next president to arrive in 2008. He urged the KMT to show its determination to the public by demanding that Chen step down from his post immediately.

Hsieh said the PFP had launched a signature drive to gauge the public's opinion on calls for the president to step down. If necessary, the party would present a proposal to recall Chen, he said.

"The PFP believes that a president in a democratic country should earn the public's trust. Now that the president and his family have lost the public's trust, the government can no longer fully exercise its power, with the result that society as a whole is undermined," he said.

Hsieh also dismissed Ma's remarks that the proposed recall lacks legitimacy because the president was not personally involved in the scandals. Hsieh said such an argument underestimated the importance of a national leader's morality.

"Faced with such a crisis, the opposition parties should stand up and try to solve the issue, especially since President Chen has lost most people's trust. All political parties should make clear whether they support Chen or the general public," he added.

Echoing the PFP's call for Chen to step down, the KMT's "567 Alliance," a group which represent's the party's younger elements, yesterday called on the public to express their anger towards the president by joining its "People Shouting: A-bian Bye-bye" event on Wednesday.

"We want to invite everyone to participate in the event by honking their horns or making a noise in other ways to express their anger with the government, and to ask President Chen to resign from his post," alliance chief Chang Shi-gang (張斯綱) said during a press conference in front of KMT headquarters yesterday.

Chang said the president should resign to prevent the situation from deteriorating over the next two years.

Citing the example of former US president Richard Nixon's resignation over the Watergate scandal, Chang said any political leader should take that event as a warning and set a good example for the public by holding himself to higher ethical standards.

"A recall proposal is likely to cause political clashes between the governing and opposition parties. We think it would be better for the president to step down voluntarily," he said.

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