Presidential Office in crisis: Su tells government officials to maintain nation's stability

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mon, Nov 06, 2006 - Page 3

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday told government officials to continue working as normal to ensure stability following the indictment of first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) on corruption charges.

"We can't afford to let the government be idle for even a day," Su said, after he was briefed by public security and economic officials.

The briefings came after Su and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) held a meeting at the president's residence on Saturday.

Security officials briefed Su on the anti-Chen demonstrations at 8:30am, while economics officials provided an analysis of the economic impact of the indictment, Government Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said.

Su said he was confident problems would be resolved through the country's system of government.

The premier said he was not worried that social order would be disrupted, as the public has seen that all protests must stay within the boundaries of the law since the anti-Chen demonstrations began in September.

Regarding the economic briefing, Cheng told a press conference that the officials' said they hoped that the political confrontation would not influence the consumer confidence index.

The officials agree that all economic indicators in Taiwan are doing well, Cheng said.

"The officials said that the economy has been growing steadily and the continuance of the government's operations and its current policies will maintain the people's confidence in economic growth," Cheng said.

At the end of the briefing, Su asked government officials to stabilize the country and to exert themselves.

Cheng again denied a rumor that Su was ready to submit his resignation today, at the earliest.

"Premier Su said that the most important thing for him at this momentous time is to stabilize the political situation and keep the government operating efficiently," Cheng said.

"Premier Su has no plan to step down at the moment," he said.