Thu, May 15, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ma's office shrugs off rumors of power transfer problems

By Mo Yan-chih and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

President-elect Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) office dismissed rumors it had encountered difficulties in the transfer of power because of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) reluctance to hand over classified documents.

Chan Chun-po (詹春柏), Presidential Office secretary-general-designate who heads the team in charge of the power transfer, began work on the handover last month.

Ma spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday that the team had not reported any difficulties in the transition process, adding that it trusted the current Presidential Office staff.

“Work on the transfer of power has been conducted on the basis of mutual trust between us and the Presidential Office staff,” Wang said.

Asked whether Chen had destroyed any classified documents, Wang said that the new administration would not know until it takes over on Tuesday, as there were no regulations on the transfer of power.

Wang made the remarks in response to a report in the Chinese-language Next Magazine, which accused Chen of destroying classified documents and failing to hand over vital files and forms to Ma’s office.

The article also alleged that Chen had copied diplomatic documents before destroying them and planned to take them with him after Ma’s inauguration.

The Chen administration also dismissed the report, with the Presidential Office issuing a statement saying that Chen would hand over power, along with all the files and documents, to his successor in accordance with the law.

The Presidential Office also expressed regret and bafflement at Next Magazine’s allegations that five of the office’s shredders had been moved to Chen’s official residence, saying that the inventory was clearly documented and the office was still in the process of making an inventory of public property.

In related news, an independence advocate staged a silent sit-in in front of Kaohsiung City Hall yesterday to protest against the city Police Bureau’s rejection of his application for a rally on Tuesday when Ma and visiting foreign dignitaries head off to the state banquet.

Lee Cheng-hsien (李政憲), vice chairman of the Taiwan Jianguo Union, said he had mobilized about 9,000 people to participate in a rally at Kaohsiung’s Central Park to voice their ideals of “anti-unification with China” and “anti-annexation” and not only protest against Ma.

Lee, whose application had been rejected by police on May 2, threatened to demonstrate in front of city hall indefinitely.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG

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