Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday that he would not criticize President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), but his vice president, Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), said she wouldn't hesitate.
Lu said that the people are the lord and master of the president and vice president, and she had the right to speak her mind now that she is a civilian again.
“Why can’t I criticize them?” she said while addressing a roomful of supporters attending an event organized by Lu’s office.
Lu said she feared Ma’s administration would make the economy like that of Penghu, the country’s politics like those of Hong Kong, turn the country into an international orphan and make its national sovereignty a fiction.
Lu said she “got goose bumps” when she read that prosecutors had named Chen as a defendant in the state fund case shortly after he left office.
She said it would only be fair if prosecutors investigated Chen’s predecessors as well.
Chen, who attended the event, said he would be happy to offer his personal opinions in private when he had the chance. He said he always remembered what former US president Bill Clinton told him when he visited Taipei in February 2005 — that he never publicly denounced US President George W. Bush although he did not agree with him.
Chen also asked his supporters not to address him as the president.
“There is only one president and it is the sitting president, Mr Ma Ying-jeou,” Chen said. “Please call me A-bian [his nickname].”