The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday requested an investigation into the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) nominations for legislator-at-large seats.
DPP Culture and Information Department Director Hsieh Hsin-ni (
"Prosecutors and investigators should look into the matter and determine whether vote-buying took place," she said.
Hsieh also accused the KMT of using the media to deceive Steve Chan (詹啟賢), a top aide of KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九), into thinking that he would be nominated for a legislator-at-large post, only to let him down.
Hsieh also questioned the KMT's commitment to reform as convicted criminal Chiu Yi (邱毅) was nominated for a legislator-at-large position. Chiu was sentenced to 14 months in prison for his violent conduct during a protest at the Kaohsiung District Court following the 2004 presidential election.
Chiu began serving his sentence in April, but was released under a commutation statute imposed to mark the 20th anniversary of the lifting of martial law and the 60th anniversary of the 228 Incident -- a civilian uprising against the then-KMT government that led to a bloody massacre.
At a separate setting yesterday, Chan expressed anger at perceived lingering suspicions within the KMT over his connection with the March 19, 2004, assassination attempts (also known as the "319 shooting incident") on President Chen Shui-bian (
Several KMT members believe the shootings were staged to win Chen and Lu sympathy votes. Some suspect that Chan, who was dean of the Chi Mei Medical Center where Chen and Lu were treated following the shooting incident, helped to perpetrate a hoax by forging medical reports.
Chan yesterday threatened to quit Ma's campaign team and promised to give a full report on the shooting incident to the KMT Central Standing Committee.
"I am asking for the opportunity to explain the 319 shooting incident to party members directly," Chan said.
"If [KMT members] continue to voice their doubts about me, I will leave the campaign team because I don't want to cause any harm. But if there are no more doubts, then people should stop manipulating the issue," he said.
Chan said he accepted the party's decision not to nominate him for a legislator-at-large position, but would not tolerate continued accusations.
Ma said he was surprised by the party's decision not to nominate Chan, but insisted Chan would continue to play a crucial role in his campaign team.
"I do not suspect Chan and it's not fair for others to accuse him," Ma said yesterday during a visit to Neihu Technology Park.
Ma said he had not participated in the process of nominating legislator-at-large candidates, but said he understood it was necessary to ensure that certain legislators were reelected.
The single-district, two votes system that comes into effect next year will halve the number of legislative seats.
KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (U5433U4f2fU96c4) said he would take responsibility for the list and denied anything improper had occurred.
252I assure you that the KMT only nominated appropriate candidates,272 Wu said.
Wu denied the 252319 shooting incident272 played a role in the decision not to nominate Chan.
252Chan is an important member of Ma's team and I believe that he will serve a much more important role in the future,272 he said.
Approached for comment, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (U738bU91d1U5e73) dismissed allegations that money had changed hands.
252Although it is true that the party is short of funding, it is inconceivable that the party would trade [legislator-at-large nominations for money],272 he said.
KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (U6d2aU79c0U67f1) 320 second on the list of nominations 320 said she had no knowledge of any underhand deals.
KMT Legislator Hsu Shao-ping (U5f90U5c11U840d), who was listed 20th, said that she was both 252surprised272 and 252disappointed272 by the nominations.
252I feel wronged. I am a four-term legislator. I always cooperate with the party's policy. I am also a former secretary-general [of the caucus] ... It never occurred to me that I would be excluded from the `safe list,'272 Hsu said.
Hsu was referring to the fact that the KMT expects to win at least 18 legislative seats and that those higher up on the list will be given preference.
KMT Legislator Joanna Lei (U96f7U5029), who was not nominated, said that the party had failed to create a proper mechanism for party members to compete for legislator-at-large nominations.
252I think the KMT did not have a mechanism. The party may eventually be criticized for employing `closed-door politics' because it was never clear what the party's criteria [for nominations] were,272 Lei said.
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