Taiwan's legislature decided on Monday to consider an opposition-backed move to hold a referendum to oust President Chen Shui-bian, as corruption scandals swirl around his family.
The legislature, where the opposition holds a slim majority, will begin a special session on Tuesday to consider the recall referendum, Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said.
The process would require Chen to defend himself in a statement before the legislature votes on the recall motion in 15 days. A referendum on ousting Chen can be held only if two-thirds of Taiwan's 225-seat legislature approves it.
The opposition would need the support of the 10 independent lawmakers and another 25 from Chen's Democratic Progressive Party to achieve the required majority, which is considered unlikely but could add pressure on Chen to resign.
About 20,000 opposition supporters rallied over the weekend in the capital, Taipei, to raise pressure on Chen to resign over allegations of corruption against his wife, son-in-law and members of his inner circle.
Chen has not been personally implicated in any wrongdoing, but his relatives are accused of using his position for personal gain.