Sun, May 06, 2007 - Page 1 News List

DPP hopefuls sparring to the end

FINAL COUNTDOWN The furor surrounding a leaked document about Frank Hsieh continued to rumble on, with Su Tseng-chang claiming he was being victimized

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) four presidential aspirants yesterday geared up for their final campaign efforts ahead of today's primary vote.

Former premier Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) camp continued to lock horns with Premier Su Tseng-chang 's (蘇貞昌) supporters over a leaked document to the Chinese-language Next Magazine.

On Wednesday the magazine published a copy of what it said was an official document signed by Kaohsiung Prosecutor Lo Chien-hsun (羅建勛) that had been sent from the Kaohsiung bureau to the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau on April 3.

Next said Lo believed Hsieh should be indicted on corruption charges on suspicion of accepting illegal donations from a Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp board member and others during his term as mayor of Kaohsiung.

Justice Minister Morley Shih (施茂林) told a legislative committee on Thursday that the ministry would identify the leak's source by Friday, but the ministry later backtracked and said that it had failed to find out who had leaked the document.

DPP Legislators Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) and Kao Chien-chih (高建智), all affiliated with Hsieh's campaign, yesterday decried the Cabinet for the Ministry of Justice's failure to discover the identity of the source of the leak before the primary.

"We [Hsieh's campaign] have been harmed. None of our party colleagues have stepped up to defend us but some have instead seized the opportunity to attack us," Hsu said.

"I believe Prosecutor Lo is the person causing this damage and so is our administration," he said, referring to the Cabinet.

Su, hit back at a separate event yesterday. He said he had believed in Hsieh's innocence from the very beginning and yet Hsieh's camp was still attacking and smearing him.

He was referring to text messages sent to the public by individuals claiming to be from Hsieh's camp. The text messages accused the administrative agencies of fabricating documents and then leaking them to the press.

Su yesterday dismissed the claim as a lie.

"How would it be possible for the premier to see a prosecutorial document?" Su said, adding "is it fair that the accused is Hsieh and Su is the one who is victimized?"

Saying that the contest had grown increasingly intense, Su told the press in Taipei County yesterday that he nonetheless believed DPP members would make a wise decision in today's vote.

DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, meanwhile, urged members to vote for him, saying that he was the only candidate who clearly values Taiwanese sovereignty.

"There is no big difference between voting for either [the contender] who said there is a `one-China' framework in the Constitution or [the contender] who would like to loosen restrictions on Taiwanese investment in China because both of them do not have clear ideas about Taiwan's sovereignty," he told reporters yesterday.

"Next year's presidential election is not only an election about choosing Taiwan's next president, but also one about Taiwan's future," he said. "Therefore, [US President] George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) are both watching to see whether the DPP's 250,000 members can insist on the DPP's founding spirit and values."

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), at a separate event yesterday, said that the president is responsible for national defense and diplomacy but these were areas the other three aspirants had failed to address during Thursday's policy debate.

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