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Huge Numbers Expected in Chen Protest
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In Taipei today a rally against embattled Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian, which clashes with the island's "national day" celebrations, is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of protestors.

Organizers say they expected as many as 2 million people to protest in the square outside his office where the major celebrations are also being held. 

"As Chen is the head of Taiwan, he'll have to show up during the celebrations," campaign spokesman Emile Sheng said. "And certainly there won't be a better chance than this for the people to voice their anger towards Chen Shui-bian."

Protesters are being asked to wear the color red in a display of anger over the string of high-profile corruption scandals in which Chen and his family have been implicated.

Chen's office urged people not to interrupt the "national day" celebrations as such a move would tarnish the island's image. Campaign organizers said they'd advised protesters against disrupting the celebrations which include an honor guard parade and are expected to attract large crowds.

"Our target is Chen Shui-bian rather than the 'national day' celebrations," Sheng said.

Approximately 5,000 police officers are expected to patrol the square. Campaign organizers have been asked to carry radios to ensure communication and order are maintained during the protest which is restricted to a designated area.

"Premier" Su Tseng-chang said the rally was illegal as the organizers had not secured approval from the authorities but didn't tell people to stay away.

Shih Ming-teh, a former Chen ally and also past chairman of his ruling Democratic Progressive Party, started an island-wide protest tour late last month to solicit support for his campaign. The tour ended late on Saturday in central Taichung.

Pressure has mounted on Chen to resign after he was questioned over alleged misuse of state funds.  He's denied any wrongdoing and vowed to stay on until his second and final term ends in May 2008.

On Friday the island's "parliament" will vote on a second recall motion launched against Chen by the opposition People First Party. 

(China Daily October 10, 2006)

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