Somehow, Chen Shui-bian’s second term was even worse. The controversy around his re-election victory in 2004 robbed him of whatever political momentum he might have enjoyed, and he spent most of his remaining tenure fending off vicious partisan attacks, anti-corruption accusations in the press, massive street rallies by his opponents, and impeachment attempts in the legislature. In his attempt to keep core pro-independence supporters on his side, President Chen pursued a brash symbolic agenda that deliberately provoked the pan-Blue opposition, infuriated Beijing, alienated even potential allies in Washington, and left him politically isolated. In the 2008 elections, his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) paid a steep electoral price, and after his term was finally over, Chen ended up in handcuffs: the corruption accusations turned out to be true, and he was sentenced to a long prison term.
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