Taiwan opposition "lawmakers" have proposed a vote of no confidence in the island's "cabinet" amidst clamors from a grass-roots campaign to oust scandal-plagued Chen Shui-bian.
"Legislators" of Taiwan's opposition party carry banners and placards calling for Taiwan's "Premier" Su Tseng-chang and "President" Chen Shui-bian to step down at the first "legislative assembly" in Taipei on September 19, 2006.
The move by "legislators" of the Kuomintang (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) against Su Tseng-chang is apparently aimed at giving the anti-Chen campaign new impetus.
The round-the-clock protest led by Shih Ming-teh, former chairman of Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), entered its 11th day yesterday demanding Chen resign for his involvement in a string of high-profile corruption scandals.
The KMT and PFP hold a narrow majority in the 221-member "Legislature," so a successful move to withdraw support from Su would require new "legislative" elections, elections the two parties feel they can win.
However, KMT leader Ma Ying-jeou may be leaning toward proposing a new recall initiative against Chen, a process that would require a two-thirds "legislative" majority to put the issue to an island-wide referendum. A previous recall bid failed in June when DPP members voted against it.
At the "legislature," opposition members unfurled banners and shouted slogans against Chen as a new session opened yesterday. They temporarily prevented Su, a senior member of Chen's DPP, from speaking.
Wearing red, the symbol of the anti-Chen campaign, representing their ire, the protestors demonstrated following a violent confrontation between Chen's supporters and opponents in the southern city of Kaohsiung.
The clashes, broken up by police early yesterday, were the most serious outbreak of violence since the anti-Chen campaign started. The baton-wielding police intervened to separate the groups. At least six people, among them two injured, were arrested by police, local television images showed.
Chen has been under pressure to resign since his son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming, was indicted on suspicion of insider trading and taking bribes. Prosecutors questioned Chen about the misuse of funds intended for "national" affairs. His wife Wu Shu-chen is also under investigation for allegedly accepting department store gift certificates in exchange for lobbying efforts.
Chen has refused to bow to public pressure and says he will remain in office until his second four-year term expires in May 2008.
(China Daily September 20, 2006)