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Campaign broadens target to include DPP legislators

Shih asks voters to recall lawmakers who oppose referendum

Campaign broadens target to include DPP legislators

Legislators from the ruling and opposition parties had mixed reactions to a drive initiated by the leader of the anti-graft campaign to ask voters to recall those legislators of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party who are opposed to holding a national referendum for people to decide whether to oust scandal-ridden President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
Shih Ming-teh (施明德), the former DPP chairman who initiated the "Million People Against Corruption" campaign, said upon returning from his around-the-island tour that he would launch a drive to recall DPP legislators, so that the Legislature could pass a proposal with a two-thirds majority to hold a referendum for the people to decide whether President Chen should step down over a string of corruption scandals that implicate Chen's close aides and family members.
Shih proposed the drive as President Chen appears to have become more determined to stay in his position since Shih launched his campaign in early September, judging from Chen's frequent trips to military facilities, meetings with local opinion leaders, plans to make more overseas trips in the wake of his recent tour of Palau and Nauru.
Commenting on Shih's drive, DPP legislative caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said Shih and those anti-Chen protesters appear to have over-exaggerated their influence. More and more voters are becoming impatient with what Shih and his followers are doing and are therefore unlikely to endorse Shih's plan, he said.
Under the leadership of DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, DPP legislators have never been so united in throwing their support behind President Chen, even though President Chen's approval ratings have dropped to below 20 percent according to various opinion polls.
If the president really believes that he has the support of the Taiwanese people, he should let them determine whether he should step down to answer for a series of corruption and embezzlement scandals, Shih said.
Shih wants 20
Shih acknowledged that without the support of at least 20 legislators, a recall motion to be voted upon on October 13 is unlikely to get the needed two thirds majority to pave the way for a national referendum on the proposed ouster of President Chen.
Shih said that by opposing the motion, those DPP legislators would be depriving the people of Taiwan of their right to decide whether they want President Chen to continue to lead this country until his tenure expires 18 month from now.
KMT legislative whip Tsai Chin-lung said he respected Shih's views, but added that the KMT would not get involved in Shih's drive to recall DPP legislators.
"We are in no position to say if some legislators are incompetent because of their stance on the anti-craft campaign; we will allow voters to decide what they should do," Tsai said.
Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞), who serves concurrently as a spokesman for the People First Party, said that Shih's drive is aimed at urging DPP legislators to support the recall motion. The DPP may resolve the political stalemate caused by President Chen's refusal to step down if it agrees to allow the people to have a final say on this issue, he said.
Taiwan Solidarity Union caucus convener Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) said the TSU is neutral on the recall motion. "We don't support Shih's campaign to depose President Chen, nor do we agree with the DPP's efforts to counter it," Shih said.
Liao said Shih may go ahead with his plan to recall DPP legislators if he is capable of doing so. "We could not care less if he also wishes to recall TSU legislators," he said.


Updated : 2021-07-27 05:13 GMT+08:00