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Sunday, August 20, 2006

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Is Shih Linked to Fugitive Tycoon?

DPP defenders of President Chen have been trying to tie Shih to a fugitive businessman now living in the US. Needless to say, there's no concrete evidence, but that won't stop them from trying...

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) yesterday said that his campaign calling on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to step down had nothing to do with fugitive tycoon Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪).

Shih made the remarks at a press conference in Taipei, where he displayed photos he had taken with Chen Yu-hao during a visit to Thailand last year.

He said that "Chen [Yu-hao] and I are definitely good friends."

Chen Yu-hao, former chairman of the Tuntex Group who fled to the US, is listed as one of the country's 10 most-wanted fugitives.

Shih has launched a campaign inviting a million people to join him in a sit-in to pressure Chen Shui-bian to step down.

DPP legislators have said that his campaign to oust the president was linked to the fugitive tycoon, who during the 2004 presidential election had accused Chen Shui-bian of accepting millions of dollars in illegal political donations.


Shih's denial was in response to attacks made the previous day:

Meanwhile, a group of DPP lawmakers yesterday said Shih's anti-Chen campaign was driven by the KMT, and linked with fugitive tycoon Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) who in the runup to the 2004 presidential election had made a vow "to destroy Chen."

"I know that Shih met with Chen Yu-hao on July 26 in Thailand. They conspired to bring [President] Chen down," DPP Legislator Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶) said.


Chen Yu-hao is in the US on a Chinese passport, which of course impelled DPP members to claim that Shih was backed by China. The Shih camp responded by claiming that the DPP wanted to assassinate Shih:

In a separate press conference held by Shih's camp yesterday, former lawmaker Wang Lie-ping (王麗萍) said: "We have received reliable reports that the pan-green camp is planning to assassinate"Shih.

In response, DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said the "planned assassination" was fabricated by Shih's camp.

"They fabricated the news because it will be easier for [Shih's] camp to reach its goal of [raising NT$100 million (US$3.06 million) from 1 million people] come true," Gao said.


A few months ago Shen Fu-hsiung, a DPP legislator who has been in opposition to President Chen in recent months, said that Chen Shui-bian had taken money from Chen Yu-hao during the former's successful 1994 campaign for mayor of Taipei. Shen said that he himself had taken the tycoon to visit the President's wife. At the time Shih Ming-te was the Chairman of the DPP. During the 2004 election Chen Yu-hao's allegation not only damaged the Chen Shui-bian campaign, although the President and his wife issued numerous denials, but also drove down the local stock market. Chen Yu-hao fled Taiwan in 2002 leaving $50 billion in bad debt behind, in the form of syndicated loans with eleven local banks. First Lady Wu eventually sued him.

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