Tue, May 30, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT launches petition asking Chen to quit

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Given the difficulty of passing a recall motion against the president over a string of recent scandals, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators yesterday urged the public to sign a petition asking President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to resign.

"Signing the petition would be the first step for the public to voice their discontent over government corruption," said KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇).

Wu said that the petition would force legislators of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union, who are against the recall motion, to come to terms with public opinion, which he said would be in favor of Chen stepping down.

In accordance with the Constitution, a motion to recall the president would need the support of at least two-thirds of the legislature. As the DPP holds more than one-third of the seats in the legislature, such a motion would be unlikely to succeed.

"Since so many scandals came to light one after another, it surprises us that DPP legislators still want to support the president. We must stage a protest to show our dissatisfaction," Wu said.

Wu said that the anti-Chen petition was supported by about 30 KMT legislators from 16 different constituencies.

The petition states that the nation will only be free of corruption once the president steps down.

Wu said he had informed KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) about the petition ahead of yesterday's press conference.

"Chairman Ma said that he didn't oppose the campaign, and that he respected it," Wu said.

Meanwhile, People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), who has been meeting with political leaders to try to drum up support for a recall motion, yesterday spoke with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and independent Legislator Li Ao (李敖).

"The scandals have become a source of shame for the nation. The legislature and opposition parties are obligated to do something. To do nothing would be to ignore our duty and to go against the principle of political responsibility," Soong said.

Soong repeated his suggestion to Wang that all parties should work together to arrange an "emergency summit," at which political figures could discuss measures to stabilize the nation.

Nevertheless, he failed to gain Wang's support for the idea.

With regard to the recall motion, Wang said that it was hard to calaculate the effect that recalling the president would have on the nation.

But Wang assured Soong that he would deal with such a motion, were it introduced, in accordance with the regulations.

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