Tue, Jan 09, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Stop spreading rumors, Chen says

SU STAYS The president said again that he had no intention of replacing the premier and that searching for a female replacement was therefore a non-issue

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday again dismissed speculation that he was considering replacing Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (李南陽) yesterday said that Chen made it clear that he was not replacing Su and that having a female as premier was therefore not an issue.

Lee made the remarks in response to an article published in yesterday's edition of the Chinese-language Liberty Times (Taipei Times' sister paper).

With headline that read "Bian [Chen's nickname]: Don't use the media to pursue personal agendas; I don't buy it," the report said that Chen had shrugged off speculation that he would replace Su.

"I hope all party members would just do their job and stop spreading rumors," Chen was quoted as saying.

"Don't use the media to pursue personal agendas, because I don't buy it," he said.

As replacing Su was a non-issue, Chen said he had never pondered the question of choosing a female premier, the report said.

Chen said some people had claimed that he would announce Su's replacement during his five-day visit to Nicaragua, but added that "I can assure you it will never happen."

The report said that Chen would like to see party members discuss the issue with him rather than disseminate such rumors to the media.

"Don't waste your time cooking up such things because it won't do anybody any good and I don't buy it," he was quoted as saying.

Chen said he would not interfere in the competition for the party's nomination for the presidential election, adding that the aspirants should spend their time and effort winning the backing and trust of voters.

On whether Su and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun should resign to vie for the party's presidential nomination, the president cited his own experience to illustrate that it was unnecessary for them to do so.

Chen said that he himself had doubled as the party chairman when he was seeking re-election in 2004.

He added that those who do not hold any position -- referring to former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) -- would not necessarily be at a disadvantage because they would be freer and have more time to concentrate their efforts on running in the party's primary, the report said.

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