Fri, Nov 12, 2010 - Page 1 News List

2010 ELECTIONS: Kaohsiung mayor appears in court

COURTHOUSE CLASHES:Chaos erupted when Chen Chu left the court and one of her opponent’s staffers was admitted to the hospital after suffering an injury

By Flora Wang  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu says she will lay the foundations for Kaohsiung’s development over the next 100 years if she is elected in the Greater Kaohsiung mayoral election on Nov. 27 during a campaign speech in Kaohsiung yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times

Amid a shouting match between pan-blue and pan-green supporters outside the Kaohsiung District Court yesterday, the court held the first proceeding of a case filed against Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), in which she stands accused of neglecting her duties during a typhoon day that left almost half of the city flooded.

Supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politician cheered outside the court as the mayor arrived at about 8am, while protesters chanted “Chen Chu, step down.”

KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), one of those who brought the case against the mayor, was escorted into the court by KMT Greater Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chao-shun’s (黃昭順) campaign staffers.

While police officers had been dispatched by the city government to separate supporters of the DPP and the KMT, members of both camps still engaged in verbal exchanges.

When Chen left the court, chaos erupted and one of Huang’s staffers was sent to the hospital after suffering an injury in the confusion.

Chiu and Huang have accused Chen of neglecting her mayoral duties when almost half of the city’s districts were flooded because of torrential rain brought by Typhoon Fanapi on Sept. 19.

Chen admitted after the typhoon that she returned to her residence for a short nap after inspecting flooded areas earlier that day.

However, Chiu alleged Chen was enjoying a hot spring in Kaohsiung County’s Tienliao Township (田寮).

Chen accused the judiciary of trying to affect her performance in the upcoming Greater Kaohsiung mayoral election by arraigning her hearing shortly after Chiu and Huang filed the suit.

“I hope prosecutors complete the investigation into the allegations efficiently,” she said when approached by reporters for comment, adding that Chiu and Huang should present evidence to prove their allegation.

Chen also complained about prosecutors’ decision not to arraign Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興), who was also sued by Kaohsiung County councilors on similar accusations.

Yang is running against Chen and Huang as an independent candidate.

Lending support for Chen, the DPP legislative caucus held a press conference in Taipei yesterday, accusing the KMT of relying on judicial interference for assistance in the campaign in the run-up to the Nov. 27 special municipality elections.

DPP caucus whip Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said that yesterday was the first day Chen took leave from her mayoral duties to campaign for her re-election and she had to spend it in court.

The fact that the Kaohsiung District Court had handled the case with such speed was evidence that the KMT was manipulating the judiciary, he said.

“This is an ugly day in the country’s constitutional history,” Pan said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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