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Opponents of embattled Taiwan president protest outside subway stations

Opponents of embattled Taiwan president protest outside subway stations

Opponents of embattled Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian protested briefly outside subway stations in the capital Taipei Thursday.
Dozens of people gathered at entrances to rail and rapid transit stations just before noon shouting slogans such as "Down with the shameless Chen Shui-bian" for 15 minutes.
Most of the protesters were dressed in red and made the thumbs-down sign, two symbols of a wider campaign which began almost a month ago.
A former Chen ally, Shih Ming-teh, launched a sit-in protest in downtown Taipei on Sept. 9 and mobilized more than 300,000 supporters for a march one week later.
For the past week Shih has been taking about 500 supporters on a bus tour around the island to fire up local rallies. He was scheduled to return to Taipei later Thursday.
Chen has been dogged for six months by allegations that relatives and aides used their proximity to him to obtain financial gain.
However, prosecutors said Monday his wife was not involved in a scandal surrounding the takeover of an upscale department store.
Investigators are still looking into charges of insider trading against his son-in-law and allegations that Chen misused secret diplomatic funds.
Chen insists he is innocent and will not leave office before his term ends in May 2008.
Shih has said he is preparing a mass protest during national day celebrations next Tuesday, while the Legislature is scheduled to decide Oct. 13 whether to hold a plebiscite on the president's fate.
Because the measure needs a two-thirds majority in the 221-seat Legislature, it is unlikely to pass. A previous proposal for a plebiscite failed in June.