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
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.