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POLITICS: Taiwan President Resigns as Ruling Party Head After Legislative Loss

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posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 10:23 AM
After failing to win a majority in the legislative elections last Saturday, Taiwan President Chen Shui Bian has tendered his resignation as head of the ruling Democratic People's Party. Although a surprising defeat for the DPP, the parliamentary loss and subsequent resignation of Chen is seen by many as expedient for stability within the Taiwanese political realm and for the maintenance of peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait.
TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian took the blame for a legislative election defeat and resigned as the leader of his party Tuesday, a move that could help ease political feuding that has caused severe gridlock in parliament.

When he was elected in 2000, he promised that he would distance himself from his party and be a nonpartisan president who represented all citizens. He also tried to create Taiwan's first coalition government.

But opposition parties refused to cooperate with him, saying that they couldn't work together with the government because it was their duty to check and balance Chen's administration. During the past four years, the opposition has blocked most of Chen's major initiatives.

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Chen's administration has been obstructed and made ineffectual by gridlock in the Taiwanese parliament, particularly since his recent re-election. The majority win for the opposition coalition may well establish some much needed checks and balances to the aggressive political stance of the DPP, and possibly free up a parliament mired in the mud of inter-party conflict and legislative blockages.

Advocates for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, regardless of their political affiliation, have hailed the outcome as a victory of sorts. A recent escalation in aggressive statements from the Chinese mainland's Chinese Communist Party and from spokesmen for the People's Liberation Army, in reaction to the DPP's pro-independence stance, has resulted in elevated tensions in the region.

Hard-line Taiwan independence supporters may well see the result as a blow to the crusade for global recognition of Taiwanese sovereignty.

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POLITICS: China-Taiwan Tension Worsening
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