Sun, Oct 01, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chen might give second recall the cold shoulder

STRATEGY KMT caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung said that the party had tried to talk the PFP out of launching the second motion to remove the president, but to no avail

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) might follow the same strategy he did in June by declining to offer a rebuttal if the opposition-dominated legislature passes a second recall motion on Oct. 13.

"At the moment, we are considering using the same approach we did when the first recall motion was proposed," Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said.

"We are inclined to suggest that the president refrain from issuing a rebuttal. And we probably won't attend reviews of the recall proposal," Ker added.

He said that party members still needed to discuss the matter further.

As lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the recall motion on Oct. 13, Ker said that the DPP might meet for discussions on Oct. 12.

When the pan-blue alliance proposed its recall motion in June, Chen declined to issue a rebuttal statement directly to the legislature, but responded in a public address to the nation.

Chen is not obliged to respond to a recall motion, which requires the support of two-thirds of the legislature and a majority of eligible voters in a nationwide referendum to be passed.

Negotiation

Former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德), who initiated the anti-Chen campaign, has suggested that the legislature postpone the voting on a second recall motion, as Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) planned to engage in talks with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to find a way to resolve the current political unrest.

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Ho Min-hao (何敏豪) said that the DPP should reflect on its behavior and stop using the slogan "love Taiwan" to divert people's attention from the allegations of corruption that have been leveled against the Chen administration.

Ho said that, since Taiwan is a democracy governed by the rule of law, the pan-blue camp should wait for the judicial inquiry into the alleged corruption scandals to be completed before proceeding with the recall bid.

"Steamrolling the recall motion will only cause civil unrest," he said.

Ho also called for an end to the demonstrations that have been initiated by Shih, saying that they were unnecessary and caused political upheaval and civic instability.

People First Party (PFP) Spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said that while his party would continue to cooperate with Shih's camp to pressure Chen to step down, the KMT was the key player in the recall campaign.

If the second recall motion were to fail, Lee said, the legislature could continue with a third or fourth recall motion, or even propose a no-confidence vote against the premier before launching another recall proposal.

Without the KMT's support, however, it would be difficult to gain the necessary support in the legislature, Lee added.

KMT caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) said that it was impossible to stop the recall campaign after the recall mechanism has been activated.

Tsai said that his caucus had tried to talk the PFP out of sending the recall motion for review on the eve of the legislature's vote on Friday, but to no avail.

Tsai said that his caucus and the PFP might invite Shih to attend the legislative review of the recall motion on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, although he would first have to discuss the matter with his PFP counterparts.

Fallout

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday said that he would handle the recall motion in accordance with legislative procedure.

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