President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday called for an end to the political unrest and vowed to fulfill the duties entrusted to him during the remainder of his term.
"The current political situation, especially with the increasing tension and conflicts between the red and green crowds, has plunged the country into an unstable period," Chen said. "Unlike the emotional clamor, I believe most people want to see stability, peace and solidarity."
Chen called on his opponents to consider ending their demonstrations peacefully so everything could return to normality as soon as possible.
Chen made the remarks while receiving winners of an international garment design competition at the Presidential Office yesterday afternoon.
As Taiwan is a liberal democracy, Chen said, violent revolution was not feasible and mass movements were not a normal means of resolving disputes.
"Everything has to conform to constitutional norms and democratic mechanisms," he said.
Many people are unhappy with the Constitution and think it needs to be amended, Chen said, but before the Constitution can be amended, it is still the embodiment of the nation's sovereignty and the people's will.
"Any attempt to challenge the system is bound to cause irrevocable damage to the country and people of Taiwan," he said.
Politics is not the only thing that deserves attention and effort, Chen said, other tasks are also worth pursuing.
"In a bid to reflect the nation's status and value, we must work concertedly to make a garment that suits Taiwan," he said. "We will not only use good material, but also use the best stitching technique."
While noting that the fight against corruption has full public support and honest governance is a fundamental requirement, Chen said that corruption was a heinous crime and must be taken seriously, because an accusation of graft when you are a politician is the equivalent of receiving a political death sentence.
Chen called on the public to have faith in the judicial system and allow prosecutors and investigators to remain 100 percent independent in their investigation into the corruption allegations made against his family and close aides.
"Patiently waiting for the completion of the judicial probe is the best support that people can show for the judicial system," Chen said.
Meanwhile, Chen yesterday said in the latest edition of his weekly e-newsletter that he will not shun the responsibility entrusted to him by the electorate and will make extra efforts to accomplish them before his term expires.
He hoped both the ruling and opposition parties could cast aside their grievances, follow the Constitution, respect the judicial system, tolerate different opinions and put the national interest first.
"Some people have said that I should take responsibility for the current political turmoil," Chen said.
"As the president, it is my responsibility to serve the country, but one person cannot solve all the problems," he added.
Chen said that he has been working conscientiously for the nation and the people over the past six years but the opposition parties had been exerting themselves to paralyze his administration.
"I hope they realize how serious an impact the current political stalemate has had on the country's economy and its competitiveness," he said.
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