DPP backs embattled Chen Shui-bian

(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-09 07:01

Taiwan's ruling party, facing the worst crisis in its 20-year history, said Wednesday it will throw full support behind embattled "president" Chen Shui-bian, who stands accused of corruption.

Chairman Yu Shyi-kun of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said his party will not take disciplinary measures against Chen because of his promise to resign if the courts found his wife guilty of corruption.

He stressed that the DPP will also stand fast in its decision to oppose a motion now before the island's "parliament" that would let voters decide whether to kick Chen out of office.

The decision made by the top DPP members following a 3-hour meeting removed a major obstacle from Chen staying in power until the end of his second and final term in May 2008.

On Tuesday, Taiwan "lawmakers" voted to put a measure calling for a referendum to oust Chen onto the "legislative" calendar, paving the way for a showdown on the issue before the end of the month.

Opposition parties have already mounted two recall motions this year, but both failed to gather the two-thirds vote in the "legislature" needed to put the measure before the electorate.

The third recall effort is also expected to die in the "legislature" without support from at least some DPP members.

"The conclusion is to do the same thing as before when we opposed the second recall motion," DPP "lawmaker" Lin Chung-mo told reporters outside party headquarters after the DPP's first high-level meeting following an address by Chen to the people of Taiwan on Sunday.

Lin added the DPP's Central Executive Committee was unanimous in the decision to oppose the recall.

On Friday, the prosecutor indicted Chen's wife Wu Shu-chen and three others for corruption stemming from allegations of improper use of money from a special government fund.

The prosecutor added that Chen, who faces widespread calls to step down more than 18 months before his term ends, is also suspected of similar wrongdoing in the case, but that he cannot be charged while in office.

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