Frank Hsieh will take part in torch relay

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Frank Hsieh, Democratic Progressive Party candidate for president, will run in a torch relay marathon to rally support for Taiwan’s accession to the United Nations under “Taiwan.” “I don’t need the crutch,” Hsieh told party workers at the opening session of the DPP’s 2008 campaign staff training camp in Taichung yesterday. He has continued to lean on the crutch since Oct. 12 after a 13-day period of self-seclusion, complaining of an ankle sprain. “So long as Hau Lung-bin refrains from carrying me out (of the marathon relay),” Hsieh said, “I’ll run in the first leg.” President Chen Shui-bian is all set to run in that leg covering a short distance between his office and the East Gate in downtown Taipei Wednesday morning.

Hau, the mayor of Taipei, went on the record by saying that the torch relay is “illegal” because no permission has been granted for it. Applications have to be filed by the organizers, and police may permit it, if the marathon, which Hau describes as “a political rally,” does not seriously obstruct city traffic. “Heaven (God) save Taiwan,” Hsieh said. “I need my crutch no more. I will run at least 100 meters.” Chen, who opened the training camp, said there’s no reason why the torch shouldn’t be relayed, if Ma Ying-jeou and his Kuomintang supporters could have a bicycle parade in Taipei. Ma, the Kuomintang standard bearer, staged that ride earlier this month.