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Taiwan's President Survives Second Recall Motion

  • Claudia Blume

Taiwan's president has survived a second parliamentary vote to oust him. Another recall motion is not likely.

Taiwan's legislators rejected a bill on Friday that would have paved the way for a national referendum on whether President Chen Shui-bian should be removed from office. Opposition lawmakers failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority.

It was the second time President Chen survived a bid to oust him - the first failed vote was in June.

Mr. Chen is under pressure to resign because of scandals surrounding his administration. His son-in-law was indicted on charges of insider trading and a former deputy chief of staff faces corruption charges. In August, the president was questioned over allegations of misuse of funds.

Ho Szu-yin, a political scientist at Taipei's National Chengchi University and an adviser to the opposition Nationalist party, says what happens next depends on the outcome of the prosecutor's investigations. Until then, he says, another recall motion is unlikely.

"I don't think it's very likely until the main prosecutor, who is examining the national affairs slush fund, comes up with some very concrete evidence that would seriously implicate the president. Otherwise I don't think there will be another recall vote on that matter," he said.

The parliamentary vote came after hundreds of thousands of people rallied on Taiwan's national day on Tuesday to demand the resignation of the president. It was the culmination of daily protests led by Shi Ming-teh, the former head of Mr. Chen's Democratic Progressive Party.

Mr. Chen denies any wrongdoing and vows to stay in office until his second and final term ends in May 2008.

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