Thousands rally, demand Chen to quit
Updated: 2006-06-03 20:15
TAIPEI - Thousands of people rallied in Taipei on Saturday, joining an
opposition call to demand "president" Chen Shui-bian's resignation over an
insider trading scandal involving his son-in-law.
Shouting "Ah-bian step
down", they gathered near the "presidential office" in central Taipei as riot
police with baton and shields kept watch behind barbed-wire barricades set up to
keep protesters at bay.
Thousands of Taiwanese
protesters gather before a large stage at a rally calling for "president"
Chen Shui-bian to step down over an insider-trading scandal involving his
son-in-law in Taipei June 3, 2006. The banner at the back of the stage
reads: "Ah-bian step down," referring to Chen's nickname.
Chen, whose nick-name is
Ah bian, has faced growing pressure to step down after his son-in-law was
detained last month on suspicion of using insider information to buy shares
of Taiwan Development Corp. from a bank.
"Probe graft to the
very end", said placards carried by the demonstrators.
approval rating has sunk to new lows, and his son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming, have
apologised. And Chao, who has been detained, has denied any
Chen has agreed to yield some powers to "premier" Su
Tseng-chang and approved the resignations of his closest aides in an apparent
attempt to deflect pressure from both supporters and opponents to step down.
But Chen's moves were too late for the People First Party, Taiwan's
second-biggest opposition party, which organised the protest.
said the struggling party was seeking to seize the initiative after Ma
Ying-jeou, chairman of the main opposition Nationalist Party, angered supporters
by opposing calls for Chen to be recalled in a parliamentary vote.