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Taiwan Leader Criticized After Forced to Cede Powers
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Criticism of Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian continued to come from opposition party leaders and scholars after he said he'd cede powers amid scandals, according to reports from Taipei.

Chen announced at a meeting on Wednesday that he'd "clarify his position," "conduct reformation" and "cede powers" promising he and his family would "conduct themselves according to the highest ethical standards."

Chen would retain the powers granted by the "constitution" and hand over all other Party and administrative powers to officials, according to his announcement.

Many opposition party leaders and scholars said Chen was forced to cede powers but still he had to take responsibility for a series of scandals involving his family and the administration.

Kuomintang (KMT) Party chairman Ma ying-jeou said it wasn't bad for Chen to try to "clarify himself" but he had to make it clear whether he and his wife were aware of, or involved in, any scandals.

Chang Hsien-yao, director of Taiwan's opposition People First Party's (PFP) policy research center, said Chen's statement was a result of a power struggle within his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

PFP would resolutely oppose Chen and continue to call for his resignation, Chang said, and all the scandals should be brought out into the open.

Some Taiwan scholars believe Chen is a "lame duck" now and if he fails to clear himself of the scandals, public trust in the DPP would continue falling.

Last Thursday, Chen's son-in-law was detained on suspicion of insider share trading in a government-owned property company. Earlier the opposition had accused Chen's wife of other financial wrongdoings.

(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2006)

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