Thu, Oct 05, 2006 - Page 2 News List

National day celebrations still on, says KMT's Wang

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) confirmed yesterday that the Double Ten National Day celebrations will go ahead as planned.

Wang made the remarks following a report in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday that said Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun had tried to persuade Wang to consider canceling the festivities.

The report said the suggestion reflected President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) concern that a planned protest to be staged by the anti-Chen Shui-bian campaign on that day could impinge upon community safety.

The report said that President Chen's request had made things difficult for Wang, but Wang denied this yesterday.

"I don't think such a thing happened [that the Presidential Office made the suggestion]," Wang said. "I will do what has to be done."

"The Presidential Office hasn't made any comment on the celebration and the final decision to cancel it will be made by the organizing committee," Wang said.

He said the celebration will not be canceled unless it is absolutely necessity as it is a celebration of importance to the country and the public.

"Over the past 40 to 50 years, there was only one occasion on which the celebration was canceled. That was in the year of 1999 due to the 921 earthquake," he said.

Wang added that ensuring the safe and smooth conduct of the national day celebrations is not only the responsibility of the organizing committee and security agencies but also of all the people.

The Presidential Office also dismissed the media report.

"Presidential Office spokesman David Lee (李南陽) said the President did not authorize Mark Chen to convey the message to Wang.

“Actually, the President last week sent the secretary-general to review how the preparations of the National Day celebrations are going and whether the festivities would be held as scheduled,” Lee said.

The anti-Chen campaign is trying to recruit 5,000 “nonviolent activists” to block the front and rear entrances of the Presidential Office on Tuesday, an action they claim will prevent President Chen from entering or leaving his office."

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