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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 06:15 GMT 07:15 UK
Taiwan's Chen survives key vote
Taiwanese opposition legislators display banners that read 'Shame on Chen's supporters' before trying to pass a motion for a referendum to recall President Chen Shui-bian, Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Opposition lawmakers want Mr Chen removed from office
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has survived a parliamentary attempt to oust him from office over scandals besetting his family and advisers.

More than half Taiwan's legislators backed a motion to recall Mr Chen, but it fell short of the two-thirds majority required to pass.

Thousands of Mr Chen's opponents and supporters gathered outside parliament as the vote took place.

Afterwards, Mr Chen urged his critics to end the political confrontation.

Opposition campaign

The crisis began last month when Mr Chen's son-in-law, Chao Chien-min, was detained on suspicion of insider trading.

Mr Chen's wife has also been accused of questionable dealings.

Chen Shui-bian. File photo
Mr Chen's personal popularity is at an all-time low
Earlier this month, in the wake of these allegations, Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang party launched a motion to oust President Chen - the first time this has ever been attempted in Taiwanese history.

The opposition hoped some members of Mr Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would back their plans so it could achieve the 148 votes needed to pass the motion to hold a public referendum to recall the president.

But most ruling party legislators stuck with Mr Chen and boycotted Tuesday's vote, and there were only 119 votes in favour of the motion.

Even though this vote has failed, opposition parties are likely to continue their fight and push for a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet.

After Tuesday's session, opposition leader James Soong told the protesters: "Over half of the legislators voted to recall Mr Chen, so he should quickly tender his resignation".


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Demonstrations on the streets as parliament votes



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