Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday that he was working on his seventh book in jail and that he expected the One Side, One Country Alliance (一邊一國連線) he established to make great strides in municipal elections in 2014.
Chen, who has been in prison since he was convicted of corruption in December 2008, said he “would definitely go out of prison alive and keep working toward his goal of one country on each side” in a press release issued by his office yesterday.
The former president, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence, has been a productive writer, with three published books — Taiwan’s Crucifix (台灣的十字架), The 1.86 Ping Presidential Office (1.86坪的總統府) and Voices that Can’t Be Locked Up (關不住的聲音) — and a column for the Chinese-language weekly Next Magazine.
His fourth book, 25 Must-read Lessons for a President (“總統”必讀的二十五堂課), will soon be published and the fifth is being edited, Chen said, adding that the 60 magazine columns he has written would make up his sixth book.
Chen said he was proud of his alliance’s performance in local council elections in 2010, with 34 of 41 nominees being elected, giving the alliance 40 incumbent councilors in various cities across the nation.
His goal for the 2014 elections is to double that number and for the alliance to reach 1 million supporters, Chen wrote.
Also yesterday, Chen’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), wrote in an opinion piece titled “The Distance from Darkness to Dawn,” for the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) to appeal for his father’s release, citing the examples of US presidents.
US President Barack Obama declined to investigate his predecessor, former US president George W. Bush, for starting the Iraq War, saying that the country should instead move forward, the younger Chen wrote.
Former US president Gerald Ford also granted a presidential pardon to his predecessor, former US president Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign over the Watergate scandal, he said.