Wed, Dec 21, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: DPP steps up attack over Fubon merger

COUNTERATTACK:After the KMT’s attack on Tsai over alleged improprieties, the DPP has gone on the offensive, and it is the KMT’s turn to complain of a ‘smear campaign’

By Chris Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporters

KMT Legislator Fei Hung-tai (費鴻泰), who served as vice speaker of the Taipei City Council in 2002, also questioned why the merger was never discussed in the city council, the ad said.

Chien and DPP Legislator Lee Chien-chang (李建昌) also accused Ma of abusing his power as mayor by selling 44 Taipei Bank properties to Fubon at prices much lower than market rates in August 2003.

For example, land at Taipei Bank’s Guting branch was sold for its 1977 purchase price, Chien said, adding that it was “beyond imagination that Taipei Bank did not go through an asset restructuring process before the merger deal.”

Ma also unilaterally designated Fubon as Taipei City Government’s partner to be in charge of all city funds and Goldman Sachs Taiwan as the consultant for the merger with executive orders, Lee said.

Ma’s re-election campaign team also went on the offensive yesterday and accused the DPP of “distorting the truth” and ignoring Ma’s explanations for election gains. It also urged the DPP to stop its “smear campaign.”

Ma campaign spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) dismissed Chuang’s claims that Ma had a private meeting with Fubon Financial chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) prior to the merging of Fubon Bank and Taipei Bank on Aug. 8, 2002, and said that Ma had only met Fubon executives twice, rather than five times, as claimed by the DPP, adding that the meetings all took place after the merger.

Ma on Monday said his two meetings with Fubon executives took place on Sept. 16, 2002, and Aug. 11, 2003, and the meetings did not touch upon issues related to the merger or other municipal affairs.

“President Ma has explained the meetings with Fubon executives clearly, but the DPP intentionally distorted media reports against the president,” Yin said at campaign headquarters.

“We urge the DPP to stop manipulating the issue as a campaign tactic,” Yin said.

Yin added the camp would file a lawsuit against the DPP today for making false accusations against Ma with intentions to make Ma lose the presidential election, and therefore violating the Presidential and Election and Recall Act (選舉罷免法).

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