Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday confirmed that in order to avoid potential clashes with anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) protesters, the party has banned its members from attending the Double Ten National Day celebrations in front of the presidential office.
Instead, said Yu, only he and senior party officials would attend.
According to Yu, administrative staff from DPP headquarters and party members normally attend the National Day festivities, but this year the party has decided to stop party members from going to the activities as a response to anti-Chen campaign leader Shih Ming-teh's (施明德) planned "siege" of the Presidential Office building on Tuesday.
"We decided to remain tolerant of the anti-Chen campaign," Yu said while attending the launch of the campaign headquarters of a DPP Taipei City councilor candidate yesterday.
"We do not want to give them any excuse to provoke [conflicts] and we do not want to see any confrontation happen because our members participate in the events," said Yu, adding that he hoped Shih's campaign would maintain a harmonious atmosphere during the National Day celebrations.
DPP deputy secretary-general Tsai Huang-liang (
DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) had said on Friday that he would attend the event with "a group of friends from the Lions Club," a civil service group composed of businessmen and businesswomen.
Meanwhile, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday urged the public not to embarrass the country in front of its foreign guests on Double Ten Day.
Su said the anti-Chen protest had been going on for more than a month, creating chaos in the country.
It was time to put a stop to it and for everyone to celebrate the country's birthday together, he said.
Additional reporting by Jimmy Chuang