Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Committee member Sean Lien (連勝文) made his first public appearance yesterday after being shot in an election-eve incident at a Taipei County campaign rally on Nov. 26.
A masked Lien and his wife appeared in front of their Taipei City residence, where they were met by several journalists and photographers, before heading to National Taiwan University Hospital for a check-up.
Lien thanked the public for its concerns over his health, but would not comment on allegations he was dissatisfied with the prosecutors’ handling of the investigation into the shooting.
“I am happy to be alive and to be able to see you all today,” he said.
Lien, a son of former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), was shot in the face at a rally for KMT Taipei County Deputy Speaker Chen Hung-yuan (陳鴻源).
Sean Lien wore a mask that covered most of his face and had surgical tape near his right temple. His right eye was swollen and he said his wounds were still painful.
A close friend of Sean Lien, KMT Central Committee member Lee Te-wei (李德維), said Sean Lien disagreed with the claim by the alleged shooter, Lin Cheng-wei (林正偉), that he had mistaken Sean Lien for Chen.
Lin told investigators that he was trying to seek revenge against Chen, who he alleged owed him money from a land dispute. He has reportedly said that shooting Sean Lien and another man, 29-year-old Huang Yun-sheng (黃運聖), who died of his wounds, was a case of mistaken identity, because his target was Chen.
Sean Lien, who was discharged from hospital on Sunday night, maintains that he was the target.
Politicians from both the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have disputed whether the shooting affected the outcome of the special municipality elections, and some politicians urged Sean Lien to release his medical record to the public to prove the authenticity of his wounds.
“The shooting happened in public with a suspect, weapon and witnesses, and we don’t think it is necessary to release medical records of the victim to prove the shooting was not staged,” said William Hsu (徐弘庭), Sean Lien’s assistant.
KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) lauded Sean Lien for being willing to appear in public, saying he had been brave to do so in light of the media attention.
Later yesterday, KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) lauded Sean Lien for being willing to appear in public, saying he had been brave to do so in light of the media attention.
Wu said the DPP should stop airing doubts about Sean Lien’s wounds.
The pan-green camp’s reaction to the younger Lien’s appearance was less enthusiastic, with some DPP supporters angry that his injuries were less serious than KMT lawmakers had led the public to believe.
Several supporters called DPP headquarters to say the party should immediately file a challenge with the election authorities over the result of the recent elections, in which the KMT won three of the special municipality mayorships, against two for the DPP.
“They wanted [us] to toughen up and say that the election results were invalid. They were very emotional,” a party official said.
At a separate venue, DPP lawmakers told a press conference that Sean Lien’s injuries “did not seem so as serious” as they had been initially announced to the public.
“We congratulate him [on his healing] and wish him speedy recovery,” DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said.