Mon, Aug 07, 2006 - Page 3 News List

TSU ignorant of any talk of `conditions' for a Lu presidency

CNA WITH STAFF WRITER , TAIPEI

A Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) official said yesterday that the party was not aware of any proposal by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to help oust President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) under certain conditions.

The statement from Lo Chih-ming (羅志明), the TSU's secretary-general and a lawmaker, came in response to a report in yesterday's China Times that Lee, the TSU's spiritual leader, had laid out three conditions for Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) in the event that she took over the presidency from Chen, who has been dogged by a spate of corruption allegations.

According to the China Times report, Lee asked Lu to honor the following conditions: That she pardons Chen, does not run in the 2008 presidential election and nominates Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) as premier. The report said that Lee pledged that he would help oust Chen if Lu was willing to abide by those three conditions.

Lo said that it was impossible that Lee, who has been devoted to Taiwan's democratization, would get involved in such a scheme. But Lo did say that the former president said he had suggested that Lu seek the trust and understanding of the US in order to assuage fears of her perceived radical pro-Taiwan independence stance.

Lee's comments came at time when the opposition camp, led by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), is trying to find a way to oust Chen if solid evidence emerges that he was involved in several high-profile scandals.

On Saturday, KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) unveiled his latest corruption allegation, saying that Chen had improperly opened a "secret" account of nearly NT$170 million (US$5.17 million) at a local bank, and had ordered funds from the account to be transferred abroad in May 2004.

The Presidential Office has denied the accusations, saying that the account was not secret and that it was used for political contributions to Chen's campaign ahead of the 2004 presidential election.

Chiu's latest allegation came after a spate of other accusations of wrongdoing.

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