The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called on Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to set aside partisan politics and agree to establish a special investigative committee to probe last month’s election-eve shooting.
Speaking one day after the opposition party raised the possibility of contesting the election results, DPP lawmakers said the government owed the public a clear and consistent explanation on the attack on KMT Central Committee member Sean Lien (連勝文).
“We should all attempt to responsibly uncover the truth around the incident,” DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said. “What we don’t want to see is this [committee] blocked by KMT lawmakers.”
DPP lawmakers are expected to propose the establishment of the investigative committee at the legislature’s procedural committee meeting this morning, although it is unlikely to receive support from the majority of KMT lawmakers.
If passed, however, the proposal would create a bipartisan legislative committee. DPP lawmakers said they want the committee to be named the “Nov. 26 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee.”
“Our aim is to return to Taiwanese, the families of the victims and supporters of [our] party a sense of justice, regardless of what the final motive is found to be,” Pan said.
Sean Lien, a son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), survived after being shot through the face at an election campaign rally for a local KMT candidate on Nov. 26. The shooting led to an outpouring of sympathy votes for KMT candidates the day after, DPP lawmakers said after the incident.
Pan and several other DPP lawmakers said that Sean Lien’s shooting should be investigated in the same manner as the far-reaching investigation, which was supported by KMT lawmakers, into the shooting of then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and then-vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on March 19, 2004. The prove involved US forensic expert Henry Lee (李昌鈺).
Opposition party lawmakers have attempted to play up the connection between Sean Lien’s shooting and the shooting in 2004, saying they were both attempts to undermine Taiwan’s democracy. As part of the announcement yesterday, DPP lawmakers said they would also support the investigation committee taking a second look into the 2004 incident.
“If the KMT still has any lingering questions over Chen’s shooting, perhaps we should hold both the investigations together,” DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) said.
At a press conference yesterday, KMT lawmakers denied any similarity between the two shootings, suggesting that the former president’s incident was staged, while Lien’s shooting included evidence of “real” bullets.
“The Nov. 26 and March 19 [incidents] are monumentally different,” KMT Legislator Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) said. “One of them had real bullets, while the other one used fake ones. One victim was seriously hurt and was fighting for his life ... the other one was [grazed].”
KMT lawmakers also suggested during the press conference that they would not support the creation of the investigative panel, despite KMT caucus Deputy -Secretary-General Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) saying that the KMT also had an interest in uncovering the truth.
“We want to find out the truth even more than the [DPP] does,” Hsieh said. “[But] the DPP only wants to find out the truth to see if there is any chance the election can be overturned.”