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DEFENSE MINISTER'S RESIGNATION TENDER NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

2004-03-22 23:12:05

    Taipei, March 22 (CNA) Premier Yu Shyi-kun said Monday that Minister of National Defense Tang Yiau-min's decision to tender his resignation is due to personal health rather than politics, but added that he has agreed to stay in the post at the premier's behest.

    The premier dismissed reports that Tang wanted to resign for "political reasons, " saying that the charge represents a "smear on Tang's character."

    Tang reported verbally to President Chen Shui-bian and the premier his intention to resign before Saturday's presidential election, a spokesman for the Ministry of National defense said that day.

    Tang was admitted to the Tri Service General Hospital Sunday after feeling acute pain in his left eye coupled with diminishing eyesight.

    A hospital ophthalmologist noted that Tang has been troubled by eye disease for five or six years and has sought treatment at the Tri Service General Hospital at least 20 times.

(By Lilian Wu)

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