Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 3 News List

DPP has no ‘rescue’ plan

By Jenny W. Hsu and Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) dismissed a newspaper story yesterday that said the party has a plan to “rescue” former president Chen Shui-bian.

The Chinese-language United Daily News reported the DPP was mulling organizing a team of legal experts and DPP heavyweights, including former premiers Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), to exonerate Chen, who has been detained since December on alleged corruption and embezzlement charges.

Tsai said Chen’s case has been thoroughly discussed, but the party had not reached a consensus. The DPP was not planning to take such action and the report was completely unfounded, she said.

“We strongly protest against any unverified news reports regarding the DPP,” she said, panning the media as “irresponsible.”

Tsai made the comment at the launch of The Movement, a new political magazine published by former DPP lawmaker Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉).

Tsai praised Luo’s goal of rallying public awareness for the democratic movement in Taiwan. She said the DPP needs to gain more support from the people to push the movement along.

“After losing two major elections, it would be impossible for the DPP, which is still in the process of recovery, to bear the torch of Taiwan’s democratic movement alone. The DPP needs a joint effort with the people to foster a more complete democracy,” she said.

The DPP was a product of the first phase of the democratic movement, she said. Although it tried its best to turn its ideals into policies, a lack of leadership meant the party had a very arduous eight years of governance, she said. She urged members to interact more with the public to create more “political energy”.

Luo said The Movement was not a media outlet but a means to raise awareness on the imminent danger Taiwan faces as it tilts toward China. The publication will hold periodical forums and publish blogs on current events, he said.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have reportedly set a date for questioning Chen’s daughter, Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤), over allegations she committed perjury. Local media outlets reported that prosecutors will call Chen Hsing-yu, her brother Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and her husband Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) to appear in court on June 22 to question them about the alleged perjury.

However, Taipei District Prosecutors Office spokesman Lin Jinn-tsun (林錦村) declined to comment, citing a gag order on cases that are still under investigation.

However, if Chen Hsing-yu is called to appear in court, prosecutors will arrange for a police guard, as she is often accompanied by large groups of people who act as her “bodyguards” to prevent her from being hassled.

The Special Investigation Panel (SIP) of the Supreme Prosecutors Office said Chen Hsing-yu, Chen Chih-chung and Chao had contradicted their testimony during questioning.

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