Lee Teng-hui pledges support for 'sake of democracy' Former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui gave his blessing to ruling Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh Chang-ting yesterday, in the final countdown to tomorrow's crucial poll. Saying he was doing so for the sake of democracy, Mr Lee said he would support Mr Hsieh - a blessing seen as a boost to the chances of the DPP candidate, who has managed to close the gap with Kuomintang frontrunner Ma Ying-jeou in the past week. 'After my observation of the two candidates in the past few months, I openly announce here my decision to give my vote to Mr Hsieh. As to what the result of the election will be, I leave it to the choice of Taiwanese people,' Mr Lee said. The lack of another political party to impose checks and balances on the KMT - which holds three-quarters of the seats in the legislature - would pose risks for Taiwan's future and sovereignty 'because no one knows what could happen in the future without such a check', he said. The island's leader must be able to love Taiwan, have a global view, religious faith and integrity, and be consistent in his words and deeds, he said. This was a suggestion that Mr Ma lacked those qualities, given recent flip-flops over his cross-strait policies. His comments about Mr Ma's flip-flops were backed by Nobel Prize laureate Lee Yuan-tseh, former head of Academia Sinica, the island's top academic institution. In an interview with a Taiwanese television station, Lee Yuan-tseh said Mr Ma had kept changing his position on cross-strait issues when questioned, indicating that he did not have his own view and could be easily pushed around - an attitude that would bring trouble to Taiwan if he led the island. The mainland-conciliatory Mr Ma recently called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics after the mainland crackdown on Tibet , and has taken a harder line in attacking Beijing after being accused by his DPP opponent of preparing to sell out Taiwan to the mainland if elected president. Lee Yuan-tseh was also worried about the one-party domination of the legislature by the KMT, and said he would vote for Mr Hsieh for that reason. Lee Yuan-tseh, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1986, supported the DPP's Chen Shui-bian during the presidential elections in 2000 and 2004. A smiling Mr Hsieh yesterday expressed his appreciation for the support, saying he would do all he could to win the race and serve as a check and balance on the KMT's domination of the legislature. Mr Ma said that while he respected the views of the former president and the Nobel laureate, he did not think one-party domination was a problem because it was the choice of voters and had been practised in various democratic countries. Mr Ma said KMT domination of both the legislature and government could avoid a repeat of the political bickering of the past eight years, during which the KMT had held a slim majority in the legislature while the DPP held the reins of government. Analysts said the support for Mr Hsieh by the two heavyweights would not create a decisive effect in the race, given that their influence had declined greatly in recent years.