Thursday, July 24, 2014

Stop criticizing Tsai, Chen says

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is asking his supporters to stop criticizing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for not seeking medical parole for him, the spokesperson of his private medical team said.

“[Chen] asked me to stop criticizing Tsai in my articles and public comments. He said that while he did not think what I did was a mistake, it would be better to stop criticizing Tsai and calling for people to cast spoilt ballots in the presidential election in 2016,” Janice Chen (陳昭姿), the spokesperson, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday night after visiting the former president in the prison hospital in Greater Taichung earlier that day.

“The former president told me that he would be held personally accountable if I and his supporters kept criticizing Tsai,” she said. “It appears that many politicians have been complaining to [Chen Shui-bian] about me.”

Chen Shui-bian, who is serving a 20-year sentence for corruption, was transferred to a special medical zone of the prison hospital after suffering from multiple complications, including severe depression, sleep apnea, non-typical Parkinson’s disease, speech disorder and mild cerebral atrophy. He tried to commit suicide in June last year.

During the tenures of former DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Tsai, who assumed party helm in May, the former president’s supporters have been calling for the party to take aggressive action for Chen’s medical parole, citing recommendations from various medical experts about his deteriorating health.

Janice Chen, who had staged several protests against the DPP over the issue, said the former president reiterated when she was leaving the prison that she should stop criticizing Tsai.

“Don’t even have a second thought. Just do it as I told you,” she quoted Chen Shui-bian as saying.

Janice Chen said she also discussed with Chen Shui-bian the establishment of the “One country on each side action alliance,” a pro-Chen Shui-bian and pro-independence political group that could be involved in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29.