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Taiwan bill on referendum to oust president fails

[JURIST] A bill allowing a referendum on whether to oust Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian [official website, BBC profile] was defeated in the Taiwanese legislature Friday. Sponsored by the People First Party (PFP) [party website; Global Security profile], the bill accused the president of corruption. Chen is currently under investigation for his use of a confidential state affairs budget, and his son-in-law and former top advisor also face charges of corruption. Leaders of his ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [party website] boycotted the vote, contending that the bill was politically motivated. It was the second failed attempt to hold a referendum in Taiwan [JURIST news archive] since June.

Chen was elected to his first term as President in 2000 in what was viewed as the first democratic transition of power in the Chinese world. Both the PFP and the Chinese Nationalist Party have vowed to force the president to step down [Taiwan Headlines report] through a third bill or a vote of no confidence, playing on the street protests in which thousands of people have called for removal of the president since September 9. Reuters has more.

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