Chen yields power amid scandal
Updated: 2006-06-01 14:22 Chao has denied the charges.
That scandal followed opposition charges
that Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, received free vouchers from the management of an
upscale Taipei department store, and may have played a role in its takeover by a
businessman whose bid was less than that of at least one rival suitor.
Chen's office denied any wrongdoing in that case.
week Ma said Chen's problems were just the "tip of the iceberg" and that more
scandals would follow.
That statement appeared to reflect charges by
opposition lawmaker Chiu Yi accusing Wu of receiving up to 100 million New
Taiwan dollars (US$3.1 million; euro2.4 million) from unidentified business
executives in connection with her efforts to promote a series of bank
Sheng, the Soochow University political scientist, said
Chen's decision to hand over powers to Su reflected his fears that DPP lawmakers
might join their opposition counterparts in supporting a recall move if new
corruption scandals came to light.
"Chen's best case scenario is to share
power with the party elite and hope that he can remain in office until the end
of his term in 2008," he said. "I think the voices for him to step down will
intensify if there are more scandals."
The opposition enjoys a slight
majority in Taiwan's 225-seat legislature, so a decision by around 30 DPP
lawmakers to support a recall initiative would push it over the first of the two
The second of the thresholds - a recall
referendum - requires the participation of half the island's eligible
voters, and a simple majority in favor.
One hundred and ten opposition
lawmakers have already signed a petition urging that a recall move go forward.
In remarks to reporters on Tuesday, Ma conditioned his support for a
recall drive on the production of evidence linking Ma or Wu directly to corrupt
He said if it can be shown that Wu and Chen were involved in
illegal actions, he wouldn't hesitate to get behind such a move.
"(Recall) is a very difficult task," he said. But if Chen and his
wife are involved, people's reactions could be very strong, Ma added.
China Times commentary said: "Becoming a mere figurehead cannot quell the
"The people had hoped that Chen would express regret,
but he did not. The people had hoped that he would explain clearly what happened
in those wrongdoings, but he did not," it said.
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