Sun, Nov 12, 2006 - Page 3 News List

TSU chairman denies rift with former president Lee

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Shu Chin-chiang (蘇進強) yesterday denied the party's relations with its spiritual leader, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), had soured after the party withdrew its support for the third recall motion.

"Lee does not exclusively belong to the TSU. He is every Taiwanese's spiritual leader," Shu said while campaigning for TSU's Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Lo Chih-ming (羅志明).

Shu made the remarks in response to a report by the Chinese-language China Times yesterday that said Lee had canceled his trip down south to campaign for Lo because he was disappointed with the TSU for not supporting the third recall motion.

Lee did not attend the event, nor did his daughter Annie Lee (李安妮), who the TSU said would represent her father at the event.

According to the report, Lee was also dissatisfied with recent comments made by Democratic Progressive Party members and pro-independence political critics during call-in programs on TV, calling them "an attempt to discredit him."

Lee would personally hold a press conference and detail how he used the "state affairs fund" during his presidential term to rebut those comments, the report said.

Shu downplayed the report and said he believed Lee would make his own judgment about those comments.

He added that Lee did not attend the campaign in Kaohsiung because his doctor would not allow him to do so due to his recent cataract surgery.

"Everybody has been trying to interpret the relationship between President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Lee, but I think [those interpretations] are always unrealistic," Shu said.

TSU Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) had also said on Friday that the media's interpretation of the party's relations with Lee was "far from the truth."

He said Lee wanted TSU not to make a hasty decision on issues that might have a major impact on society.

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