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Motion Launched to Oust Scandal-hit Chen
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Opposition legislators in Taiwan launched a motion to oust scandal-hit Chen Shui-bian yesterday.

The recall motion, launched at a special session of Taiwan's "parliament," while unlikely to pass, turns up the heat on Chen, whose family and aides are already reeling from a series of scandals.

It listed 10 reasons to recall him, including violation of laws, creating political chaos, corruption and failing to invigorate economy.

The motion deepens a political crisis that has pushed Chen's public approval ratings to record lows.

Despite holding a slim majority, the opposition led by the Kuomintang and People First Party lacks the two-thirds required to push the recall motion through.

But opposition lawmakers hope launching it will produce evidence of wrongdoing and stiffen anti-Chen sentiment among the public.

Chen has seven days to respond in writing to the motion, which if passed would authorize a referendum on whether he should step down. His office has said he has not yet decided whether or not to write a defence.

Chen's son-in-law was detained last month on suspicion of insider trading, and his wife has been accused of accepting millions of Taiwan dollars worth of department store gift vouchers.

The "parliament" will have 15 days to deliberate the issue and can summon witnesses.

Taiwan media reports said the entire legislature was expected to review the motion on June 21, 22, 23 and 26, and then vote on it on June 27.

(China Daily June 14, 2006)

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