TAIPEI (AFP) — Thousands of people rallied in the Taiwanese capital Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of a campaign to oust President Chen Shui-bian over alleged corruption.
At least 1,000 riot police were deployed, but no clashes were reported in the candle-lit vigil, held on a square outside the presidential office.
Protesters donned red T-shirts and protest headbands, in a repeat of the huge demonstrations held a year ago when Chen refused to step down over allegations he misused funds intended for national affairs.
"The same place, the same old friends. As the same corrupt president is still there, your anger is totally understandable," democracy campaigner Shih Ming-teh, a former head of Chen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), told the crowd.
But he assured his supporters that their persistence would pay off.
"Because of you, whoever is elected as the president in the future will not dare to be corrupt," said Shih, who kicked off the A-bian (Chen's nickname) Out drive last year with round-the-clock protests in front of the presidential office.
The president's wife Wu Shu-chen is on trial on corruption and forgery charges for allegedly embezzling 14.8 million Taiwan dollars (448,500 US) from state funds for personal use.
Chen was also accused of corruption in the case but escaped immediate prosecution due to presidential immunity.
The president suffered the latest blow in June, when the High Court increased his son-in-law Chao Chien-ming's sentence to seven years imprisonment for insider trading.
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