Presidential Office in crisis: Lee Teng-hui tells DPP to turn crisis into an opportunity

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mon, Nov 06, 2006 - Page 3

The state fund scandal is a blow to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), but the party should face the problem with introspection so that it can "turn the crisis into an opportunity," former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said last night.

Lee's remarks were his first public comments following Friday's indictment of the first lady on corruption charges.

He made the comments in a speech delivered to members of the Taiwan Association of University Professors in Taipei.

Contradicting remarks by the DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun that "the party respects the judiciary but the judicial judgment may not necessarily be correct," Lee said that everyone should "respect the results of judicial judgment."

"The DPP should establish itself as a paragon of reform so that it can regain the people's confidence in the party," Lee said.

"Justice, morality, conscience and the concept of right or wrong are the best remedies for the DPP and are the hopes for Taiwan's society" Lee added, stressing the importance of morality in a democracy.

"I firmly believe that `integrity' is the core value in democratic politics. Political figures should observe higher moral standards than the general public does," Lee said.

After his speech, Lee was asked by the press about his stance on the opposition's plan to initiate a third recall motion against Chen. He refused to comment.