The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship race heated up yesterday when Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
"To avoid further spreading of rumors and damage to the image of the party, we will not rule out the possibility of filing a lawsuit, although we do not want to see this happen," said KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who also serves as a spokesperson for Wang's campaign headquarters.
While most pan-blue supporters are pinning their hopes on the election -- scheduled for Saturday -- and wish to see a transformation of the party, Hung said that she was disappointed to see how the campaign, which was supposed to be a "gentleman's competition," was turning out to be an exercise in mudslinging.
"If Ma wins the election, but it comes at the expense of the party's reputation, how does he expect the party to win in the long run?" she asked. "I am calling on Ma and his camp to exercise wisdom, rationality and composure."
Hung made the remark in response to accusations made earlier yesterday by KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (
Producing what he called "evidence," Wu said that Wang was suspected of vote-buying by offering cash between NT$500 and NT$3,000 or free gifts to solicit votes from potential supporters. Wang spent over NT$30 million (US$956,000) over the past few weeks offering 6,000 free meals to potential voters, Wu said.
Wu also claimed that he had received information from party employees in the KMT's Yunlin chapter that there are over 8,000 party members registered there who do not exist. Wu alleged that these false members could be used in the election to support Wang.
Wu said that he would submit related information to the party's election supervision committee for further investigation. The committee is scheduled to hold a meeting today.
Meanwhile, the Wang camp yesterday vowed to re-apply after Taipei City police yesterday rejected an application filed by Wang's camp to use Ketagelan Boulevard to hold a campaign rally on the eve of the election.
Citing the Assembly and Parade Law (
About a year ago, Ma, in the capacity of city mayor, expelled pan-blue supporters illegally gathering on Ketagelan Boulevard protesting the election-eve assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).
Wang's move to hold a rally was widely seen as an attempt to stir up resentment among pan-blue supporters against Ma because of the incident.
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