KMU Hospital to report on Mayor Chen Chu’s condition

The China Post staff

The Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital (KMUH) will hold a press conference today to give a public report on the physical condition of Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu in a bid to vanquish rumors and speculation. The hospital has not yet given any word about Mayor Chen’s condition since she was admitted last week. Chen’s aides at the municipal government said she went to the KMUH after feeling unwell due to high blood pressure last Thursday. They stressed that she has been in a fair condition and continued to work at the hospital ward, although she is in need of further rest. All hospital staff were tight-lipped and declined to reveal the health condition of the top administrator in Taiwan’s second largest metropolis. President Chen Shui-bian said the mayor was “overtired” after he paid her a visit Saturday. Unconfirmed reports said she suffered a minor stroke and was not able to hold a pen to sign formal administrative documents.

She was conspicuously absent from a high-profile political rally held in her city over the weekend, where all county and city chiefs of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in southern Taiwan appeared on the same stage with Premier Su Tseng-chang to show their support for him in the party’s primary for the 2008 presidential candidacy.

Hsiao Yu-cheng, chief of the Department of Information at the municipal government, clarified yesterday that Mayor Chen has maintained full consciousness and engaged in normal discussions on administrative affairs. In order to put the speculations over her conditions to a rest, Hsiao said the city government and the KMUH will jointly meet the press to give a full explanation about the mayor’s health. Chen won the mayoral race by a slim margin late last year but is faced with a litigation from election opponent Huang Jun-ying, her teacher and business management professor, who filed charges against alleged unfair election tricks from Chen’s camp.