Houston Community News >> Taiwan President Chen Urges Stop to In house Fighting

4/14/2007-- President Chen Shui-bian yesterday urged the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's presidential hopefuls to stop trading verbal blows with one another. Chen made the appeal as the war of words between Vice President Annette Lu, Premier Su Tseng-chang, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and former Premier Frank Hsieh is heating up ahead of the presidential primary.

The president said in a press statement he was "in a somber mood" making the call on the eve of the first of two DPP-organized forums where the four presidential hopefuls will present their platforms.

The forum could turn into a venue for more attacking between the candidates.

Presidential Office sources were cited by the Central News Agency as saying that Chen will be present at today's forum, during which he will not speak.

Chen said he hopes all the DPP's candidates will realize that voters and supporters have "high expectations" of them.

The candidates and their close aides should "show restraint in their actions and their words," Chen said.

Chen said that all the candidates basically follow the same policy line that stresses a "Taiwan consciousness."

The hopefuls' positions on public issues may be different, but they have to engage one another in rational discussions, the president said.

Since the DPP has governed the nation for seven years, all four candidates -- who have served, or are still serving in the administration -- should share the responsibility for what the government have done.

The latest verbal battle between the candidates revolved around the controversial proposal for constructing a Suao-Hualien highway, and the blunder over the planned demolition of the Losheng Sanatorium in Hsinchuang, Taipei County.

Some of the candidates are blaming each other for the


Meanwhile, the DPP legislative whip Ker Chien-ming, echoed Chen's appeal.

Ker called for unity among the four presidential candidates, asking their close aides to stop attacking rival camps before the rift become incurable.

He also urged President Chen to continue his coordination efforts among the candidates after today's forums.

DPP Legislator Wang Hsing-nan said that continued infighting will disappoint supporters and spell disasters.

Competition of the four DPP hopefuls may be further complicated by the possibility that a former party chairman, Lin Yi-hsiung, may stand for the presidency.

Premier Su said yesterday he would step aside to give full support for Lin's presidential campaign should the former DPP chief decided to run.

Su made the remarks in a question-and-answer session at the Legislature when Kuomintang Legislator Lee Chia-chin asked whether he would support a presidential bid by Lin.

Su said he respects Lin, who has contributed much to and sacrificed much for the development of Taiwan's democracy.

Lin served as DPP chairman from 1998-2000, and was credited with helping Chen win the 2000 presidential race.

A Lin supporter group was founded yesterday in a bid to gather support around Taiwan for a planned move to persuade Lin to participate in the presidential election next year.

Vice President Lu declined to comment on Lin's possible bid.

(Courtesy of China Post)