The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that it could move to invalidate last month’s special municipality elections because of the sluggish investigation into Sean Lien’s (連勝文) election-eve shooting.
The announcement came just hours after the party released the findings of a poll suggesting that the public is not satisfied with the investigation so far.
“It’s been a month now. [Investigators] have already found a suspect, found the gun, but still nothing has been revealed,” DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said after a meeting of the party’s Central Standing Committee. “It’s time that the DPP pursued this more vigorously.”
Lien, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Committee member and son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), survived after being shot at a campaign event for a KMT candidate on Nov. 26. DPP lawmakers claimed that the shooting led to a surge of sympathy votes for KMT candidates.
This is the first time the DPP has raised the possibility of filing a lawsuit to invalidate the election results.
DPP officials did not say in which of the five cities the party could file the election lawsuits, but stressed that the matter is being handled by the party’s legal team. A final decision on whether to file the lawsuit is likely tomorrow, the last day before the statute of limitations run out, Tsai said.
She said the DPP was not “aiming to start a confrontation,” but hinted the challenge was made to spur investigators to more quickly reveal their findings. The public deserved to know the facts, she said, adding that a lawsuit was in the public interest.
“We are not hoping that someone wins or someone loses, we just want to know the truth,” she said. “This was an incident that hurt Taiwan’s democracy and something we definitely do not want to see happen again.”
According to a DPP poll earlier this week, more than 56 percent of respondents, including a majority of KMT supporters, expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of the investigation, which has dragged on for more than a month.
About seven out of 10 respondents also said that they did not believe that the incident was a “simple case of accidental shooting,” as maintained by police soon after it took place.
Almost 64 percent of those polled thought it was “unreasonable” that no senior officials have resigned over the incident, the survey revealed.
“The poll suggests that ... the [government] should immediately reveal the truth of the issue in order to give society an understanding,” DPP spokesperson Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said.
A number of opposition lawmakers are expected to propose the establishment of a “truth commission” in the legislature tomorrow, modeled after the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee in 2004.
The move, which has to receive approval from the KMT-controlled procedural committee before it can be submitted, is unlikely to be supported by KMT lawmakers. DPP officials say the commission is necessary to resolve discrepancies that have been emerged since the incident.