Taiwan authorities' plan to stage a long distance relay run as part of a push for a "referendum" on the island's bid to enter into the United Nations has been criticized by Taipei mayor Hau Long-bin, Taiwan media reported Friday.
Hau said the plan was a political campaign rather than a sports activity and the municipal government so far had not received any application for permission from the Chen Shui-bian authorities.
The mayor said staging such an activity during rush hour on main streets would cause inconveniences to Taipei people and seriously affect their rights and interests.
If Taiwan authorities insist on hosting the campaign, the Taipei government would handle it according to law, Hau said.
Disregarding Taiwan people's call for peace and strong opposition from the international community, Chen Shui-bian authorities had been obstinately promoting the "referendum" on the island's UN entry bid.
Slogans drumming up the "referendum" were seen on Taiwan's streets, gas stations and even on people's electricity or water bills. The distance running was planed to start on October 24 from Taipei and last for 11 days.
Hau officially took office on December 25, 2006, replacing Ma Ying-jeou, leader of the opposition Kuomintang Party and candidate of the 2008 presidential election.
(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2007)