Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday there were "discrepancies" between a media account and what she actually said when she met a former political prisoner who called for the president's resignation.
The Presidential Office issued a statement yesterday morning saying that Lu "was instructed" to solicit opinions from Chi Wang-sheng (
"The Vice President happened to have a bad cold that day and nearly lost her voice, so she listened to Mr. Chi more than she spoke," the statement said. "Therefore, there were discrepancies between the media report and the facts."
The statement was made in response to an article published in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday.
The report quoted Chi as saying that Lu complained to him that she was often humiliated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁).
The report said Lu invited Chi to her official residence on Oct. 3 and made the complaint. Chi said he suggested to Lu that she should stand up for herself.
Lu, in a separate setting, yesterday said she respected her party's decision to back the embattled president, but emphasized that the party must also accept public criticism.
Lu, who was absent from her party's Central Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday, said she did not attend the meeting because she had a last-minute engagement at that time.
She had predicted what kind of agreement the party would come to, she added.
The DPP's Central Executive Committee resolved to support Chen, who is facing a third recall motion initiated by the opposition parties.
The committee pledged party unity and agreed on a three-point resolution.
First, they agreed to wait patiently for the court ruling on first lady Wu Shu-jen's (
When asked about the Presidential Office's inconsistent statements on whether or not Chen had used his controversial "state affairs fund" to buy diamond rings for Wu, Lu said she had "no comment."
Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (李南陽) told reporters on Tuesday morning that two diamond rings had been paid for by the first family although receipts for the purchases were used to apply for reimbursement from the fund.
Late on Tuesday night the Presidential Office sent a message to reporters' cell phones saying that Lee's remarks about the two rings "needed further verification."
The Presidential Office kept a low profile the following day, saying that concerns about the details of the case were beside the point and emphasized that not a single dollar of the fund had gone into the president's own pockets and that all the money had been used for public purposes and diplomatic projects.