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PREMIER ASSURES NORMAL OPERATION OF ADMINISTRATION

Central News Agency

Release Date: 2004-03-19 19:06:49

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Premier Yu Shyi-kun assured the public Friday that the administration is operating normally after President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were shot and injured in an apparent assassination attempt during canvassing in Tainan, southern Taiwan earlier that day.

Yu said that although Chen was injured after being shot by an unidentified gunman, his condition is not life threatening and he will have no problem leading the country.

Government agencies in charge of national defense, cross-Taiwan Strait relations and foreign relations are operating normally and will not be affected by the shooting, the premier said.

The Central Election Commission has also decided that Saturday's presidential election will go ahead as scheduled, the premier said.

Yu said that the president is convinced that "there is hope if one doesn't give up" and remains optimistic after the shooting, although he is concerned that the incident might create social disturbance.

The president has instructed him to preside over a national security meeting through the Presidential Office, Yu said.

Yu said that he lamented the assassination attempt and added that the Ministry of the Interior has formed an investigation team to track down the culprit.

The Executive Yuan has also instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide full information on the incident and the government's handling of the matter, he added.

(By Lilian Wu)



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