Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui yesterday pulled out all stops to support the Kuomintang candidate for president, Vice-President Lien Chan. The KMT's rival, the Democratic Progressive Party's Chen Shui-bian, counter-attacked by announcing the popular Nobel prizewinner, Dr Lee Yuan-tseh, would be asked to put together his cabinet. During an emotional speech at the KMT's central committee meeting yesterday morning, Mr Lee called on the island to unite behind Mr Lien. 'Whichever party, faction or candidate you support, please cast your ballot for Lien Chan, whom Lee Teng-hui supports,' he said in a voice husky from lack of rest. 'The more votes that Lien Chan gets, our country will become more secure and our society more stable. We shall have more dignity to face the world and the Chinese communists.' Mr Lee also promised a radical reform of the KMT and the political system. He said Mr Lien would head a special conference to look into the 'third wave' of reform. Speaking at a 1,000-table 'vote for Lien Chan' dinner last night, President Lee again pleaded with Taiwanese to honour his 12 years as president by voting for Mr Lien. 'Only Lien Chan can guarantee the country's security and social stability,' Mr Lee said. 'You have supported me for the past 12 years. Please give your support to Lien Chan.' He also pointed to how some voters had lost confidence in the future because of the prospect that 'unsuitable' candidates might win. Internal polls conducted by political parties and the media yesterday continued to show Mr Chen enjoying a distinct lead of about two percentage points over both Mr Lien and the independent candidate, James Soong Chu-yu. The DPP star continued to flash what local media called the 'Nobel prize card' by hinting he would asked Dr Lee to be premier or at least play a vital role in the new cabinet. Mr Chen said that if he were elected president he would call on the famed scientist on Sunday to seek his help in forming the next administration. The former Taipei mayor said he was sure that given Dr Lee's selfless love for the island, he would play an 'appropriate role' in the Taiwan leadership. Mr Chen refused to say whether he would ask the chemist to become premier. Yet he said: 'Our countrymen should be able to sense what the biggest wish in the heart of Shui-bian is.' Political analysts said it was Dr Lee's endorsement of the Chen candidacy that was responsible for the late surge in the fortunes of the opposition leader. They said Mr Chen's chances would be further enhanced if Dr Lee agreed to become prime minister.