Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday called for an end to political fighting and said the never-ending tug of war meant that politicians were not meeting the public's expectations.
"The president gave us more room to work for the people so we should take advantage of that and try to achieve something. I believe this is also what the public is expecting," Su said, referring to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) announcement on Wednesday that he would delegate powers to the premier and the governing party's ranking officials.
"Now is not the time for me to think about the 2008 presidential election or about succeeding the president. A constant political tug of war is not what the people are expecting," said Su.
The premier made the remarks yesterday in response to media questions about Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) interview with a local Chinese-language newspaper that was published yesterday.
The interview was printed in the China Times under a headline that said "Lu says Su hasn't really been given any real power by President Chen."
Lu's remarks in the interview were interpreted as meaning that she thought that the president hadn't really given Su any more power despite his announcement on Wednesday saying he would relinquish some power to the premier and party ranking officials and focus solely on his duties as president.
"If the public really cares about who has power, I suggest that instead the people worry about who can do a better job of fighting drug abuse," Su said.
Later yesterday, the Presidential Office issued a statement saying that the China Times did not publish the complete interview with the vice president and had twisted what she said.
Adding that the headline used for the interview also distorted what she really meant, the statement asked the press and the public not to misinterpret her remarks.
Lu did not make any remarks on the subject yesterday.
Su's remarks yesterday also came amid reports that the opposition was mulling whether to recall the president or propose a no-confidence motion in a bid to topple the Cabinet in the wake of a string of corruption allegations implicating close aides of Chen and his son-in-law.
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