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Scandal-hit Taiwan's A-bian Escapes for Now
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Troubled by scandals in the past few days Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian can for the moment breath a sigh of relief. An attempt to topple him launched by the opposition parties of the Kuomingtang (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) failed on Tuesday in Taipei.

Ma Ying-jeou, chairman of the main opposition KMT, speaks at a news conference after a "parliamentary" vote failed to oust scandal-hit Chen Shui-bian on Tuesday in Taiwan June 27.

Because of Chen's "management incompetence" and a series of corruption scandals, involving his son-in-law, his wife and some of his top aides, the KMT and PFP called for Chen to step down at the beginning of this month.

At Tuesday's "referendum" to oust Chen all the "lawmakers" from Chen's Democratic Progressive Party boycotted the vote leaving only 133 representatives to make their views known.

According to Taiwan's regulations only when two-thirds of the "legislature" -- 148 votes -- approved the motion could Chen be ousted. Of the 133 votes cast 119 approved the motion, no one opposed it and 14 were invalid.

Upon hearing the news, the KMT and PFP all expressed their regret, saying they would continue calling for Chen to step down.

So far the initiative launched by the KMT demanding Chen's resignation has the  support of more than 1.67 million people.

(Xinhua News Agency June 28, 2006)

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