Fri, Jun 14, 2002 - Page 1 News List

`Pan-green' co-op breaks down over nuclear plant

HARD FEELINGS TSU accusations that DPP lawmakers interfered with bids for the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant have torn the parties apart, after a day of fierce verbal disputes and a near-brawl at the Legislative Yuan

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP lawmaker Cheng Tsao-min, left, and PFP lawmaker Chiu Yi lambaste each other at the legislature yesterday over allegations that some lawmakers attempted to manipulate the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant bidding process for personal gain.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

Cooperation in the "pan-green" camp ground to a halt yesterday, after a TSU lawmaker accused three of his DPP colleagues of profiting through interfering with bids for the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, sparking a near-physical confrontation and a day of angry recrimination.

In contrast to the behind-the-scenes resentment that has characterized their relationship in the past, yesterday's disputes were both severe and public, and appear to have seriously impaired the parties' relationship.

First challenged by DPP lawmaker Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) at the legislative chamber, TSU lawmaker Su Ying-kwei (蘇盈貴) was later involved in an angry war of words at the entrance of the main legislative building with DPP lawmaker Cheng Tsao-min (鄭朝明) and his wife Huang Ying-chu (黃英桔).

Shouting erupted following Su's allegation, first made on Tuesday, that Cheng, along with two other DPP law-makers, Liang Mu-yang (梁牧養) and Hsu Chih-ming (徐志明), had sought personal gain from the power plant project because of connections they have with state-run Taiwan Power Corporation (Taipower, 台電).

Su charges that the accused lawmakers interfered with the bidding process for the building of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in an effort to let certain companies win the contracts.

Huang, who is also an aide of Cheng's, demanded that Su must present his evidence.

Apparently losing her composure, Huang pushed Su and was poised to strike him when guards broke up the two.

In the legislative chamber a while earlier, Wang asked Su to show his proof and sign an agreement which would, Wang said, make certain that all individuals involved in the case would be held accountable for their conduct.

The agreement is supposed to have said that the three DPP lawmakers should resign if they are proved to have been connected to the scandal, otherwise the accusers, Su and PFP lawmaker Chiu Yi (邱毅), would step down for slander.

What's more, the dispute has provoked tension within the TSU, as most of its legislators would just as soon see the entire dispute come to a quick end.

For this reason, Su felt "betrayed" by their party comrades.

"It is not an issue that I can make an apology for. It is a matter of right and wrong. To have a sense of what's right and wrong is the basic principle of being a human being," Su said after his colleague, Huang Chung-yuan (黃宗源), offered an apology to the DPP on Su's behalf.

"My purpose [for identifying the DPP legislators] was to establish a sound system in the government. I had no intention of hurting anyone."

Huang Chung-yuan said earlier at a press conference that he was sorry his colleague has harmed the reputation of DPP lawmakers before presenting evidence finding them guilty. He said he would like to make an apology in Su's name.

Fearing that the fights would continue to strain relations between the "pan greens," leaders of the two caucuses have begun talks to calm tensions.

Nonetheless, legislators across party lines yesterday demanded an immediate investigation to ascertain the accuracy of the accusations.

The three DPP legislators involved in the incident ended the day maintaining their innocence and vowing to commit suicide if evidence shows they committed any misconduct in the case.

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