Fri, Dec 02, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Ma pledges to resign if KMT 'fails'

ELECTIONEERINGThe KMT leader said he would step down if the party can't manage to get at least 11 of its candidates elected

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

In the latest and perhaps most drastic attempt to boost support for his party with less than 48 hours remaining before the local elections, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he will resign as chairman if the KMT fails to get at least 11 candidates elected.

"If the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wins a majority in the elections, it means that the KMT is not good enough. I will resign as party chairman if the KMT fails to secure at least half of all seats in the elections," he said.

Eight cities and counties are currently under KMT control. As the party did not nominate any candidates in Kinmen and Lienchiang counties, by referring to "half of the seats," Ma apparently meant winning the election in at least 11 cities and counties.

Ma, who doubles as Taipei mayor, made the announcement yesterday at a press conference titled "Vote for yourself, be responsible for history" at the campaign headquarters of the KMT's Taipei County commissioner candidate, Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋).

While the elections are being held to appoint new county commissioners and mayors, Ma urged voters to view the poll as a chance to cast a vote of no confidence in the DPP government.

"The DPP achieved nothing during its five years as the ruling party, and can only boost its support with smear campaigns and bribery," Ma said.

Liao Feng-teh (廖風德), head of the KMT's organization and development committee, said yesterday that the party's final strategy was to spur on "all pan-blue voters" to support the camp's candidates with "shocking" measures, especially in areas like Taipei, Ilan, Nantou, Changhua, Yunlin and Pingtung counties and Chiayi City.

Meanwhile, stepping up pressure on the DPP's candidate for Taipei County, Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉), Chou's team yesterday played a video which allegedly proves that Luo paid people to participate in a DPP campaign rally on Sunday.

The video showed someone giving away money on a bus.

"After double-checking the bus company's service list, we are sure that the bus took passengers from Luchou County to the DPP's rally last Sunday," People First Party Legislator Lee Yung-ping (李永萍) said at Chou's campaign headquarters yesterday.

KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) said the Chou team has reported the matter to the Banciao District Prosecutors' Office, and urged the prosecutors to complete their investigation as soon as possible.

The video was the pan-blue camp's latest piece of "evidence" allegedly proving that Luo's team had been involved in large-scale vote-buying at the DPP rally last Sunday. They claim that Luo's team paid each rally participant NT$150.

As of press time, the Banciao District Prosecutors' Office had subpoenaed 17 members of Luo's campaign team but had not yet searched his campaign office.

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