Tue, Oct 14, 2003 - Page 1 News List

KMT wants to sue Chen for libel

ACCUSATIONS The Chinese Nationalist Party wants to take the president to court for claiming that it has been accepting secret aid from across the Strait

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said that the party would file charges against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) next May for slander.

Chen told The Washington Post last week that both the KMT and its political ally, the People First Party (PFP), have been receiving "clandestine assistance" from Beijing, which does not want to see Chen get re-elected in the presidential election next March.

"We will take legal action against Chen for his slanderous remarks against the party," said KMT spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元) at a press conference held to address the issue.

KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and his PFP counterpart James Soong (宋楚瑜) are on a joint ticket challenging Chen's re-election bid.

Claiming that Chen's remarks were a calumny against the party, Tsai said that "starting from today, the party will set up a legal panel which will, day by day, record all Mr. Chen Shui-bian's inappropriate and illegal remarks."

"We will then gather them all and press charges [against Chen] on May 20 next year," he said.

May 20, 2004, will be the inauguration day for the nation's 11th president. Since the president enjoys executive immunity from prosecution during his term of office, the KMT has to wait until that term ends.

Tsai was also assuming that the pro-China parties would defeat Chen's re-election bid next March.

Meanwhile, Tsai Chao-ming (蔡朝明), director of the National Security Bureau, yesterday was quoted as saying no evidence has been found to prove that the "pan-blue alliance" has received secret assistance from Beijing.

"So far the government has not found any precise or explicit evidence proving that Beijing has been assisting the pan-blue alliance for any purpose," the bureau director was quoted by PFP Legislator Lu Hsiu-yen (盧秀燕) as saying in a closed-door meeting at the Legislative Yuan's National Defense Committee.

Tsai Chao-ming made the remarks in response to questions raised by opposition lawmakers.

According to Lu, the director was also asked by opposition legislators whether DPP Legislator Chen Chung-hsin (陳忠信), who is the convener of the National Defense Committee, is an "emissary" across the Taiwan Strait as he travels to and from China frequently.

The opposition lawmakers also asked him whether there was any truth to recent reports that some China-based Taiwanese business people have been "controlled" in one way or another by Beijing to be used as "political tools."

The bureau director described the allegations as "electioneering rhetoric."

Two years ago US academic Bonnie Glaser riled the KMT when she wrote in an academic paper "Scores of KMT delegations visiting China in the past year have urged Beijing to avoid opening a dialogue with Chen that might strengthen [Chen's] position and increase his chances of re-election, Chinese analysts say. Instead, the KMT urges Chinese leaders to await the return of their party to power, promising that the KMT will pursue a cross-strait policy that is more amenable to Beijing."

Also See Story:

Chinese version of Chen's `Post' interview published

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