Fri, Aug 11, 2006 - Page 3 News List

TSU at odds on Lee's support for Chen

MIXED MESSAGE Comments by the party's secretary-general that Lee Teng-hui believed Chen Shui-bian would step down were quickly denied by its chairman

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Shu Chin-chiang (蘇進強) yesterday rebutted remarks by a party official who claimed that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) supported calls for President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to resign.

Lee would elaborate on the issue on Sunday, Shu said.

Shu made the remarks in response to comments by TSU Secretary-General Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) who said yesterday that Lee believed it was likely Chen would step down because of a campaign against him initiated by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德).

Shih, who on Monday issued an open letter asking Chen to resign, said yesterday that he would intensify his campaign and would hold a press conference at 228 Memorial Peace Park tomorrow morning urging the public to join him.

Shih said he hoped to gain the support of at least 1 million people, and urged Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to join his effort.

Lo said that Lee predicted that people within the DPP would begin calling for Chen's resignation, now that Shih had openly called for the president to step aside.

Once his party members began demanding his head, the chances of him resigning were "quite great," Lo quoted Lee as saying.

According to Lo, Lee said that if that should come to be, the TSU must help stabilize the situation.

"[Lee said] it is just like a wall that will collapse quickly if one or two of the bricks fall," Lo said.

"Therefore, former president Lee told us that the TSU has to be prepared [to react to] this possible political scenario as soon as the president quits," Lo said.

"[Lee] thinks that a regime that loses the people's trust cannot last for long," Lo said.

But Lo's remarks were quickly dismissed by the TSU chairman.

Shu said Lee had not indicated whether he would support Chen stepping down.

Lee will answer this question on Sunday when he meets the press, Shu said.

"Lee said that many people have misquoted him recently. Therefore, he will personally talk freely about his opinions on the current political situation," Shu said. "Lee has been concerned about Taiwan's political situation and it is very clear that what Lee does is for Taiwan and is not to target any specific figure."

Shu added that Lee, who is considered the TSU's spiritual leader, would comment on issues concerning the president in a speech at the TSU's anniversary celebration tomorrow evening.

In related developments, the Presidential Office confirmed yesterday that the convener of Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) medical team, Chen Yao-chang (陳耀昌), had resigned from the post.

"The vice president yesterday received his resignation letter, in which he said he had a personal matter to attend to and that he did not want to cause any inconvenience or trouble for the vice president," Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (李南陽) said.

Despite his resignation from the post, David Lee said Chen Yao-chang would continue to serve on the medical team.

David Lee refused to confirm whether Chen Yao-chang's resignation was linked to tomorrow's campaign organized by Shih to call for the president's resignation.

Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling and CNA

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