Tue, Oct 17, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT, PFP pan Chen's `Second Republic' idea

By Flora Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS , WITH CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was dismissive yesterday about President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) idea of establishing a "Second Republic."

Ma said yesterday morning that he would not comment further on the idea since "it was a personal opinion, not a party's."

"The issue is not urgent for Taiwanese people," he said.

Chen mentioned the idea at the 80th birthday celebration of former presidential adviser Koo Kwang-mingg (辜寬敏) on Sunday evening.

At the party, Chen also cited Koo's 1996 article entitled "Establishing A Country of Our Own," in which Koo wrote that Taiwanese should establish a country by using the nation's "sorrowful history" as the "backbone" in order to rebuild people's confidence. Chen said that establishing an independent country was his dream and resolution.

DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun told the press yesterday morning that part of Koo's idea of creating a "Second Republic" had already been adopted by the party in its constitutional reform proposals.

Yu said that establishing Taiwan as a "normal country" is the party's basic goal.

Any suggestion on constitutional reform was welcome as long as it matched that value, he said.

DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said that delivering a new constitution was an ideal, but it should be realized "step by step."

Chen Chin-jun said establishing a constitution that fits Taiwan was necessary for the nation's future political development, but given the confrontations between political parties, seeking a consensus should be the priority now.

Meanwhile, People First Party Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said the president's proposal was merely an "ecstasy pill" that he was giving to the pro-independence camp to make them happy.

"It is unlikely that the president has the ability to put the idea into effect. I do not understand why pro-independence people would believe the president," Lee said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tsai Chin-lung(蔡錦隆) said that the president's poorly thought-out remarks would only damage the nation's interests.

"Over the past six years, the president has been leaving the country idle because he often voices his opinions carelessly," Tsai said. "Repeating now what he was unable to do in the past won't make people believe in him and would hurt the country."

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