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Chen Shui-bian Shot During Election Campaign

Posted March. 19, 2004 23:16,   


On March 19, only 24 hours before the presidential election, Democratic People’s Party (DPP) presidential candidate Chen Shui-bian and his running mate Hsiu-lien were shot while campaigning for Saturday’s election. Despite the shooting, however, the Taiwanese government plans to go ahead with the election on March 20 as scheduled.

Chen and Lu had been riding in a convertible four-wheel drive vehicle in the southern part of Tainan County at about 1:45 p.m. when Chen was shot in the stomach and Lu in the right knee.

They were rushed to nearby Chimei Hospital, but the Presidential Office announced that they did not lose consciousness nor suffer life-threatening injuries. As a number of fireworks were being set off along the route, some suspected the possibility of injuries from the firecrackers.

Chiou I-jen, secretary general in the Presidential Office, held an emergency press conference in Taipei right after the event and confirmed, “The medical team removed a bullet from the president’s stomach and took a picture of it.” He added, “It was clearly a gunshot not the firecrackers.”

Much attention is being paid to the possible impact of today’s shooting on the results of Saturday’s election.

So far, Chen is behind Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Lien Chan and his running mate Soong Chu-yu of People First Party (PFP) in various polls.

The Presidential Office said, “The investigation by the intelligence agency is underway, and we have tightened security on KMT candidates.”

Jin-Yeong Lee leej@donga.com