Wed, Nov 15, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ex-New Tide lawmakers deny resignation rumor

POLITICAL DIVISIONS A Chinese-language daily said that members of the DPP's former New Tide faction were considering resigning en masse as a protest move

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A legislator presents Premier Su Tseng-chang with a poster during a question-and-answer session in the legislature yesterday. The sign says `The standard for staying or going should be clear.''

PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUEI, TAIPEI TIMES

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators who were members of the former New Tide faction denied yesterday that they had considered resigning their legislative seats en masse.

DPP Legislator William Lai (賴清德) told a press conference that New Tide no longer exists because party factions were abolished in July.

Therefore, he said, it was simply media speculation that former "New Tide" members had thought of resigning from the legislature as a group.

Lai was responding to a report in yesterday's Chinese-language China Times which said several lawmakers had thought of resigning together.

The newspaper said the mass resignation would serve as a warning to party headquarters after the DPP decided to give President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) a chance to explain himself after the "state affairs fund" indictments were handed down, but that the legislators had been dissuaded by senior party members.

First lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) and three of Chen's presidential aides have been indicted on charges of corruption and forgery.

While president, Chen enjoys constitutional immunity from prosecution.

DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) and Lee Wen-chung (李文忠), both former New Tide members, announced on Monday that they would resign their seats in order to live up to a promise they made before the indictments that they would ask Chen to step down if he was "involved or indicted" in the case.

Lee said yesterday that the pair did not know what other legislators might do since other lawmakers might consider resignation a personal matter and would not talk about it with other people.

He said he had heard "indirectly" that some legislators would like to follow the pair's example.

He refused to comment, however, when asked if he felt other DPP lawmakers should resign.

During a press conference on Monday, Lee and Lin said they had not made their decision together, but only that they knew the other had thought about resigning.

Lee denied yesterday that they gave up their seats as a way of supporting Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), a potential presidential candidate in the 2008 election.

"It is a pity that some DPP members still consider [our resignation] a conspiracy [to highlight Su's strength in running for the presidency]," Lee said.

Lin and Lee paid a farewell visit to the DPP caucus yesterday.

Although caucus whips Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津) have said they would try to persuade the pair to stay on, Lee and Lin said they would not change their minds.

Lin said he would continue dedicating himself to reform of the government, advocating Taiwan's independence and promoting cultural issues.

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