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Protesters in Taiwan Demand President Resign


Hundreds of people have gathered in Taiwan demanding the resignation of President Chen Shui-bian, just days before lawmakers vote on whether to hold a referendum on dismissing him.

Opposition lawmakers say they expect at least 6,000 people to participate in demonstrations Saturday in southern Taiwan's city of Kaohsiung.

Parliament is to vote next week on whether to call a public referendum to decide Mr. Chen's political future. He is facing mounting pressure by opposition lawmakers to step down for alleged incompetence and financial wrongdoing by his family.

The opposition motion is widely expected to fail. A referendum requires the support of two-thirds of parliament, but the main opposition party and its allies hold only a slim majority of the 221 seats.

The president's son-in-law was arrested last month for alleged insider trading. Mr. Chen's wife is accused of accepting gift vouchers in exchange for political favors, and one of his top aides has been indicted for corruption.

Taiwan's embattled leader has said he will resign if his wife is found guilty.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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