The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) may reconsider its position of not supporting a third recall motion in the legislature against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), a TSU legislative caucus whip said yesterday.
Mark Ho (何敏豪), director of the TSU's Policy Committee, said in an interview that the caucus would hold a meeting soon to discuss whether TSU legislators should support the third recall motion or abstain from voting as they did during the two previous recall motions.
The third recall motion, launched by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP), will be put to a vote on Nov. 24. The motion asks that a national referendum be held to determine whether the president should step down.
Ho explained that the TSU's position of opposing the third recall motion was a "temporary decision" that merited reconsideration after recent developments.
Only three days ago, the TSU expelled Taipei mayoral candidate Clara Chou (
On the same day, former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), a co-winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for chemistry, issued an open letter urging the president to step down after a public prosecutor indicted first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) on charges of corruption and forgery and named her and the president as "joint perpetrators" in an embezzlement case.
Lee is widely believed to have played a decisive role in helping Chen get elected as president in 2000 and win a second term in 2004.
At about the same time as Lee's open letter, an article in Taiwan News Weekly by former senior presidential adviser and I-Mei Food Co president Kao Chih-ming (高志明) -- a staunch pan-green supporter and major donor to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) -- also urged the president to step down to calm political turmoil.
Yesterday, Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟), who served as Presidential Office secretary-general between 2002 and 2003, also urged the president to resign in a letter to the editor carried by the Liberty Times, the Taipei Times sister newspaper.
Ho said TSU legislators planned to discuss the latest developments at a meeting and reach a decision on what policy to follow regarding the third recall motion. He stressed that nothing has been ruled out at present.
The TSU whip also said that Premier Su Tseng-chang (
The TSU holds only 12 seats in the 220-seat legislature. Even if all TSU legislators support the third recall motion, it is unlikely to pass because the KMT and the PFP would still need the support of some 20 DPP legislators to reach 147 votes and pass the two-thirds threshold.