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Taiwan Oppn calls for President to quit

Taiwan's main opposition party said that Chen Shui-bian lacked credibility and would soon find it impossible to govern.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 12:24 IST

The head of Taiwan's main Opposition party on Saturday called for Chen Shui-bian to quit over a corruption scandal, saying the president lacked credibility and would soon find it impossible to govern.

Chen's ruling Democratic People's party has been rocked by an insider-trading scandal and although the allegations centre on the president's son-in-law, both Chen's family and party have suffered.

"We strongly urge President Chen to seriously consider immediately and voluntarily resigning," opposition leader and popular Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou told an annual meeting of top Kuomintang (KMT) party officials.

"If he resists... it will be hard for him to lead the country. As more scandals are gradually unveiled, the people will eventually force the president, whose credibility and morals are bankrupt, to step down."

Ma, who is expected to run for president in 2008, urged people who are dissatisfied with the ruling DPP to take action and demand Chen step down.

Chen announced this week that he would hand over some of his decision-making powers to the prime minister, apparently succumbing to mounting pressure over the corruption scandal.

But the Opposition criticised the president for shying his responsibilities with the move.

Chen "should clearly explain the scandals allegedly involving the first family instead of handing over powers or letting his aides go," Ma said.

"Our constitution does not allow the presidential duties to be used as bargaining chips to defend his powers and position."

Chen has maintained control over key policy areas including foreign affairs, relations with China and national defence, which fall within the president's remit under the Constitution.

But all other powers he held in government and his ruling party would be assumed by top officials.

In the wake of the president's move, Chen's long-time right-hand man Ma Yung-cheng resigned Thursday after being accused by the opposition of taking bribes to benefit business groups.

Chen's son-in-law Chao Chien-ming has been detained since May 25 in connection with the alleged insider trading scandal, prompting demands from his own party that he drop his one-man leadership style.

Another opposition party, the People First Party, was to hold a rally Saturday to call for Chen's resignation.