Taiwan bill to unseat Chen fails yet again
TAIPEI, Nov 24: A bill allowing Taiwan's electorate to vote on the early ouster of President Chen Shui-bian, whose wife and aides have been indicted on corruption charges, was blocked again in parliament today as expected.
For the third time since June, the opposition could not muster the two-thirds majority needed to pass the motion, which called for a referendum on whether to get rid of Chen before his second term ends in 2008.
The motion won just 118 votes in favour, short of around 146 needed.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which backs Chen as a bloc, did not show up for the vote and the widely predicted outcome had little impact on financial markets.
On November 3, Taiwan high court prosecutors charged first lady Wu Shu-chen with embezzlement and receipt forgery involving T.8 million (US1,000) of the president's state affairs fund.
Several aides were also indicted that day for misusing the same fund, and the prosecutor said he had enough evidence to charge Chen if he were not protected by presidential immunity.