Sun, Sep 10, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma calls on DPP to start own recall bid

PARTY FIRST The KMT chairman said that the pan-green camp could draw a line between itself and corruption by letting the people decide the future of the president

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged four Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) heavyweights to take the initiative and launch a second recall motion in the legislature to demand the president's resignation.

The four DPP leaders -- Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and DPP Taipei mayoral candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) -- should take the lead and solve the current political deadlock, Ma said.

"I call on the four DPP leaders to stand up, instigate a second recall motion and hand the future of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) over to the people for them to decide," Ma said at a press conference at the KMT headquarters.

A recall attempt launched by the KMT in June failed because the pan-green camp refused to support it. If the DPP initiated a recall motion it would not necessarily mean that the party wanted to oust Chen, Ma said.

"It would simply mean that the DPP had reached a consensus with other parties that the people have the right to decide the future of President Chen," he said.

If a recall motion passes the legislature by winning the approval of two-thirds of the legislators, a national referendum would be held.

Dismissing Yu's criticism that such a suggestion was a KMT attempt to "seize power" from the DPP, Ma said the KMT had no intention of seizing power, and urged the DPP not to hesitate in launching a recall motion.

If a recall motion were to succeed, the vice president would assume the presidency, nominate a new vice president of her own with the endorsement of a legislative vote and reshuffle the Cabinet under the Constitution. The KMT would remain the opposition party, Ma said.

"There wouldn't be any attempt to seize power from the KMT ? If the motion failed, the people would also respect the result and allow the president to finish his term," he added.

Ma said the KMT was also willing to initiate the motion, although such a move could result in political conflict and ethnic clashes.

When asked about whether he had faith in the DPP, Ma said he believed that some DPP members agreed with deciding Chen's future via a referendum.

"Some of them know that supporting Chen at this moment will hurt the party," he said.

Ma made similar remarks earlier yesterday in a half-page print ad, entitled "return a clean future to Taiwan," which was published in major Chinese-language newspapers including the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper) and the China Times.

A second attempt initiated by the DPP, Ma said, would be the best way to defuse the political impact made by the anti-Chen sit-in protest.

"It would also be the last chance for the party to draw a line between itself and corruption," Ma said yesterday in the ad.

Ma expressed support for the demonstration.

"But a long-term protest will be harmful to Taiwan's democratic politics," Ma added, calling on the DPP to work with the KMT to solve problems within the system's institutional framework, which he said was the norm in a democratic society ruled by law.

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