Thu, Oct 26, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Mayoral hopefuls continue war of words over bills

TAIPEI TUSSLE Hau Lung-bin and Frank Hsieh traded more accusations yesterday after the KMT candidate filed a slander lawsuit against his DPP counterpart

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The war of words between two Taipei mayoral candidates continued yesterday as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate shrugged off the threat of a lawsuit filed against him by his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) opponent.

DPP candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) had claimed that, as a former premier, Hau Lung-bin's (郝龍斌) father Hau Pei-tsun's (郝柏村) utility bills have been paid by the government and that both Haus had made use of a state-owned residence at 315 Fulin Road.

Dismissing Hsieh's accusations by showing receipts for water and electricity bills on Tuesday, Hau Lung-bin yesterday filed a lawsuit against Hsieh for slander, while urging the former premier to explain his involvement in irregularities in connection with the construction of the Kaohsiung mass rapid transit (MRT) system.

"Frank Hsieh's smear campaign cannot hide his involvement in the Kaohsiung MRT scandal ... He should spend more time explaining that," Hau Lung-bin said yesterday while seeking grassroots support at a traditional market.

Hsieh yesterday refused to offer an apology over the utility bill accusations against Hau.

Hsieh claimed Hau Lung-bin had his permanent residence registered under his father's residence until last year, while DPP Legislators Hsu Kuo-yun (徐國勇) and Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) alleged that Hau Lung-bin's sister's residence was an illegal construction.

Hau Lung-bin said it was well known that he had been living at 317 Fulin Road for years, rather than living with his father at 315 Fulin Road, and urged Hsieh not to harass his family with smear tactics.

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that city regulations state any non-permitted buildings erected before 1994 would not be demolished unless they hinder public safety, transportation systems, sanitation and the city landscape.

"The regulations were set when President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) served as Taipei mayor," Ma said yesterday when asked by the press for comment.

Hau said he would file further lawsuits in response to any new accusations from Hsieh and would not offer a response to the accusations regarding his utility bills.

In response to Hau Lung-bin's decision to file a lawsuit against him, Hsieh insisted that his accusations were correct.

"He should be the one to apologize, and he should return the money to the taxpayers. It's not the responsibility of the people to pay his utility bills for him," Hsieh said. "Go ahead and sue me ? If he sues me, I will be the defendant, and can therefore request information about him."

Meanwhile, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) candidate Clara Chou (周玉蔻) yesterday lashed out at Hsieh for attempting to dissuade her from joining the election by offering her three incentives through a third party.

The three incentives, according to Chou, included offering her any position in the government if Hsieh is elected, assisting her to run in the next legislative election and campaigning for TSU city councilor candidates if she withdrew from the election.

"He insulted me beyond belief with these incentives," she said.

To show her determination to run in the election, Chou said she registered her candidacy on Oct. 17 instead of Oct. 19.

She further accused Hsieh of being involved in the Kaohsiung MRT scandal, and claimed that he should not serve as Taipei mayor.

Hsieh denied the allegations.

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