Ruling party MP criticises decision to fund expenses for pro-Chen demonstration Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party has come under fire from some members for planning to mass tens of thousands of people on Taipei's streets today in a show of support for scandal-plagued President Chen Shui-bian. 'It is regrettable that the DPP central standing committee has decided to mobilise supporters' to stage the counter protest, DPP stalwart and lawmaker Lin Cho-shui said yesterday. He was speaking ahead of a mass rally planned today to support President Chen, who is under increasing pressure to step down over corruption allegations tied to himself, his family and government. The ruling party has decided to help the pro-independence Taiwan Society fund the rally and mobilise supporters to gather in front of the Presidential Office this afternoon. They want to counter protests started by former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh demanding Mr Chen's resignation for alleged corruption. According to DPP sources, the party's elected officials have been given the task of mobilising supporters to come to Taipei. Sources say DPP headquarters would subsidise pro-Chen rally organisers to the tune of NT$18,000 (HK$4,260) for each tour bus that is hired to take supporters to Taipei. 'Being the ruling authorities, we should refrain from starting disturbances,' Mr Lin said. 'These give [anti-Chen] protesters a legitimate reason to vent their anger.' But he also criticised Mr Shih and his anti-Chen followers for acting irrationally, saying that served only to provoke Chen supporters, resulting in confrontation between the two camps. He pointed out that although the judicial authorities were still investigating alleged irregularities within the Presidential Office, both the president's son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming, and former aide Chen Che-nan had been indicted for alleged wrongdoing. Mr Chen is being investigated over alleged embezzlement of NT$36 million in state funds, while his wife is being scrutinised for alleged influence peddling. Mr Shih started the 'Million Voices Against Corruption Campaign' in mid-August to demand Mr Chen's resignation. He began a large-scale sit-in protest in front of the Presidential Office last Saturday, during which protesters wearing red clothes shouted slogans denouncing Mr Chen. Mr Lin said Mr Chen's supporters in southern Taiwan had been agitated because of the round-the-clock protests against the president. Meanwhile, members of Green Six Section, a DPP youth faction, echoed Mr Lin's call for the DPP to stop aiding the pro-Chen rally. 'While the DPP asks the public to respect justice, it at the same time breaks its principle of not provoking and confronting [the anti-Chen camp] and mobilising people to take part in the September 16 rally,' the group said, warning such actions would hurt the DPP. The DPP had earlier decided not to counter the anti-Chen protests. But a group of pro-Chen DPP officials said yesterday that today's rally was aimed at 'safeguarding Taiwan' rather than countering the anti-Chen protests. 'It is to ask determined people to stand up and not allow the red-clothes troops to become red guards and not to turn the anti-Chen activity into an anti-Taiwan campaign,' DPP lawmaker Kao Chih-peng said.