Sun, Aug 13, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lee denies he wants Chen to be ousted

STRONG WORDS Lee Teng-hui said it was up to the president to decide whether he should step down or not, but described the government as `irresponsible and ineffective'

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN KAOHSIUNG

Former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) denied that he supported the drive to oust President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) launched by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德).

When questioned by the press yesterday morning about whether he thought the president should step down, Lee said it is up to Chen and added that it was not a good idea for Chen to meet him.

In a lecture given at the Lee Teng-hui School in Kaohsiung yesterday morning, Lee said: "I will not intervene in the recent political development. What newspapers said about me are all nonsense and has nothing to do with me. Some people just want to use me to attack the president."

While declining to say he supported the campaign aiming to unseat Chen, Lee however panned the current government as "irresponsible and ineffective" and responsible for the country's democratization coming to a standstill. He also raised several mistakes that he believed Chen had made over the past five years.

Lee denounced Chen's "four noes" pledge as a major obstacle for the nation's democratization, saying that if the government still uses the "Republic of China" as Taiwan's official name, the country cannot move forward.

"It was so stupid for the government to make such a stupid vow," Lee said.

Lee also criticized the scandals surrounding Chen's in-laws, saying a president's responsibility is to serve the people rather than gaining privileges or money for his relatives.

Later last night in his speech delivered at the Taiwan Solidarity Union's (TSU) fifth anniversary celebration in Kaohsiung, Lee, rather than criticizing Chen, questioned the Cabinet's cross-strait policy.

Lee said that the Conference on Sustaining Taiwan's Economic Development held late last month was totally unnecessary and the conclusions reached at the conference would not only hurt Taiwan but also benefit China.

"The people who have power now are disconnected from people's lives," Lee said. "I don't see why the Executive Yuan implements policies that run counter to public opinion."

During the anniversary celebration, the TSU promoted candidates running for the year-end elections.

The TSU also held a fund-raising banquet with about 6,000 supporters in attendance.

To highlight the party's goal of pushing for a new constitution, the party also held a simulated constitutional referendum at the celebration.

One by one, attendees voted in the mock referendum on whether a presidential system or parliamentary system best suits the country.

TSU Chairman Shu Chin-chiang (蘇進強) last night vowed that the drawing up of a new constitution would be the pan-green camp's major task over the next two years.

The TSU's candidate for the Taipei mayoral election Clara Chou (周玉蔻), Kaohsiung mayoral election candidate Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) and all the candidates standing as city councilors attended the celebration, along with DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and Kaohsiung acting mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭).

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