Thu, Oct 12, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Pan-greens slam Ma as he attends recall review

TOO GOOD TO MISS DPP lawmakers initially boycotted the session, but some members attended yesterday to take advantage of the chance to slam the Taipei mayor

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Council candidates protest outside the legislature yesterday where Mayor Ma Ying-jeou was participating in discussions on the second recall motion against President Chen Shui-bian.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Angry with the Taipei City Govern-ment's handling of the anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) protests on Tuesday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday staged a protest in the Legislative Yuan against Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

The legislature originally invited Ma in his capacity as "a person of significant social standing" to attend its review of the second recall motion against Chen yesterday.

Some minor scuffles took place between several pan-green and pan-blue lawmakers.

Ma said on the legislative floor that one reason Chen has rejected the demand for his resignation was that he fears he will lose his criminal immunity.

"President Chen might think that retaining the presidency would enable him to use his position to protect his family and himself [against any corruption charges]," said Ma, who doubles as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman.

Ma made the remarks while answering a question from KMT Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓) about Chen's pledge to stay on until his term ends in May 2008.

"Any political leader, either in the US, Europe or Japan, would have stepped down if he was facing the same situation as President Chen," Ma said.

The recall motion is slated to be put to a vote tomorrow.

DPP lawmakers, who reject the legitimacy of the second recall motion on the grounds that an earlier motion, also sponsored by pan-blue lawmakers, failed to gain two-thirds majority on June 27, initially boycotted the review.

But the DPP caucus yesterday permitted some members to attend the review because of Ma's appearance in the legislative chamber. Their protests disrupted Ma's dialogue with the pan-blue lawmakers.

Chanting "Ma Ying-jeou corrupts" on the legislative floor, DPP lawmakers waved dog-shaped cardboard -- a dig at Ma for his use of a special expense fund to adopt a dog.

Meanwhile, after attending a meeting of high-ranking officials from the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday, DPP caucus leader Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said it had been decided that the DPP caucus would not mobilize its members tomorrow to vote in the opposition-proposed recall motion.

"President Chen will not submit a statement and DPP legislators will not attend the review committee and will not vote on the recall bill," Ker said.

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