Vice President Annette Lu (
"I have never joined the `first force' nor will I join the `second force,' not to mention the `third force,'" she said. "It has never crossed my mind. It has never even appeared in my dreams."
Lu was responding to speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (
Lu made the remarks during a question-and-answer session during a tea party for the Presidential Office's press corps.
She said that some media outlets would fabricate news to boost their circulation or viewership. She singled out an inaccurate report that she and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
A more recent example was the rumor that Lee wanted to see Wang and former premier Frank Hsieh (
Lu said she envied Wang in a way because he seemed to be a media favorite and he and Lee seemed to have very close ties.
Lu, who just recovered from an attack of shingles, said that Taiwan is sick and in a worse condition than she was in the past month.
She urged politicians to be less concerned about elections and personal or party considerations and more concerned about the people's livelihood. She also urged them to place more emphasis on honesty and sincerity.
Lu said that she and President Chen Shui-bian (
The remark created controversy since Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun had previously said that the party would recommend that Chen dissolve the legislature if the lawmakers voted in favor of bringing down the government.
Regarding the delay in approval of the president's nominees for the Control Yuan, the vice president said she disliked the suggestion that heads of the four branches of government review the president's nominations, saying that it would violate the separation of powers.
The Control Yuan is the government watchdog agency.
Lu, who chaired the review committee for Control Yuan nominees, said she had expressed her opposition to the idea to both Chen and Wang.
She said she didn't think Chen would follow through on the suggestion because he had told her that he would consider re-nominating the candidates on two conditions: If the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) promised not to increase the legislature's confirmation threshold from a simple majority to two-thirds and the legislature returned his nomination list before he made new nominations.
Lu also confirmed that the president had asked her to visit a diplomatic ally in Africa on his behalf, although she didn't mention a name. Details of the trip are still being arranged, she said.
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A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,