Wed, Mar 21, 2001 - Page 1 News List

DPP targets its own for vote selling

PARTY PRIMARIES DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh says the party will punish a Taichung member who was touting votes for between NT$1,000 and NT$5,000

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The ruling DPP yesterday found a committee member in the party's Taichung County Chapter, Wang Hsien-tang (王憲堂), guilty of trying to sell votes to candidates for the party's legislative primary.

"Wang has violated the party's anti-vote-buying principles. The DPP Central Standing Committee (CSC) has therefore decided to take disciplinary action against him. We've proposed that the party's Central Review Committee revoke his party membership next week," DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.

Hsieh added that the party's investigation team had found evidence over the past two weeks that proved Wang had claimed to control the votes of 1,600 party members. Wang had also tried to sell those votes at a price of NT$1,000 to NT$5,000 per vote, according to DPP Taichung County Councilor Liu Kun-li (劉坤鱧), who reported the incidents to the party two weeks ago.

Hsieh yesterday further validated Liu's allegations and asked former DPP chairman Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏) to testify as a witness.

"It takes more courage to make an allegation than to testify as a witness. I'd like to support Liu's accusation about Wang's misconduct here because I, together with another DPP legislator, Chen Zau-nan (陳昭南), were there with him that day, witnessing everything that happened," Chang said, adding that the party had demonstrated its determination to wipe out vote-buying and corruption in elections.

Chang said he had found vote-buying in the DPP legislative primary this year to have been particularly serious, even though it had been rampant for years.

Hsieh said that there was an additional case currently under investigation.

The party yesterday also published the outcome of telephone polls involving six primary candidates in Taichung County. Last week the six candidates, worried about vote-buying, signed an agreement to cancel a vote by party members. A vote by party members is usually the second stage of party primaries and had been scheduled for April 1. In accordance with the agreement, four of the six will instead be chosen as the party's legislative candidates in Taichung County on the basis of the results of the telephone polls alone.

The agreement also involved a promise that no candidate would dispute the outcome of the election even if their poll figures were within the standard margin of error of 3 percent.

The poll results revealed the four successful candidates to be incumbent legislators Lin Feng-hsi (林豐喜) and Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), former director of the DPP's department of organizational development Kuo Chun-min (郭俊銘), and a Taichung official, Chien Chao-dong (簡肇棟). The two unsuccessful candidates were Taichung County councilors Liu Kun-li and Liu Chien-ho (劉錦和).

Chiu, Kuo and Chien are all members of the party's New Tide faction (新潮流系).

The party will confirm the nomination of the four candidates and that of a fifth -- a female candidate -- at the party's Central Executive Committee on April 3. It is the party's policy to nominate at least one female candidate among the five candidates for each constituency.

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