Sun, Sep 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lee Teng-hui calls for all parties to respect the law

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Former president Lee Teng-hui speaks at a forum sponsored by the alumni association of the Lee Teng-hui Academy in Taipei yesterday. Lee said that social conflict should be resolved within the democratic system.

PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUEI, TAIPEI TIMES

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) called for all parties yesterday to work out disputes through democratic means and in accord with the rule of law.

Lee made the remarks at a forum on "Safeguarding the sovereignty of Taiwan and its democratic system" sponsored by the alumni association of the Lee Teng-hui Academy in Taipei.

Regarding the ongoing campaign to pressure President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to step down over corruption allegations, Lee said that it had set "a bad example."

Lee noted that street protests are protected under the democratic system, but when former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德), who is leading the campaign to oust Chen, said that the sit-in will continue until the president resigns, he "violated the principles of mutual respect and tolerance in a democratic system."

Everyone should work within the framework of the democratic system, he said, adding that not doing so will hurt Taiwan.

He also said that all politicians have to take responsibility for protecting the well-being of the people and should not incite rivalry and confrontation.

He noted that the "anti-Chen" campaign had entered its 15th day, and Shih's pitch was well understood. The organizers have to show restraint, and the government should also respond positively, instead of letting the rivalry between Chen's supporters and opponents continue, which could even lead to violent clashes, he added.

He also said that he supported an administration that advocates Taiwan's sovereignty and integrity.

He urged the ruling and the opposition parties to put aside their differences as people need a respite from the political turmoil.

On reports that Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will invite leaders from across the party spectrum for a meeting to help resolve the political turmoil resulting from the "anti-Chen" drive, Lee said that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) was a better man for the job.

Lee said that Ma, who is also the chairman of the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), was not suitable for such a role and that Wang was a better choice because he would remain neutral.

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