Sat, Dec 31, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: ‘Dirty tactics’ accusations fly

TIT FOR TAT:The DPP says the KMT has abused state resources to help its election efforts, while the KMT said that the DPP is waging a ‘smear campaign’ against it

By Rich Chang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporters

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was using 10 “dirty tactics” in the run-up to the presidential election, sparking accusations by the KMT that the DPP was engaging in a “discrediting campaign.”

DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference that the KMT had abused state resources to interfere in the elections, with actions including the abuse of national security authorities to monitor DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) campaign efforts.

Earlier this week, Next Magazine unveiled a document from the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau that it claimed showed the bureau had collected information on Tsai for the National Security Council (NSC).

Lin said the KMT also directed judicial authorities to launch an investigation into the KMT’s allegation that Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had profiteered from Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司) when she was vice premier in 2006 and 2007.

He said the KMT had abused government resources to help the party’s chances in the elections, such as Control Yuan Vice President Chen Jinn-lih (陳進利) and Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基) attending President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) campaign event.

Lin said the KMT was suspected of vote-buying in Greater Taichung’s Shihgang District (石岡) and local DPP officials had recorded the act, but judicial authorities have not questioned anyone involved in the matter.

Conversely, when a DPP official from a Greater Kaohsiung borough was going to a wedding party with a number of neighbors, prosecutors accused them of vote buying.

Other “anonymous smear tactics” included hanging a large number of posters saying Tsai had bullied farmers and using the media to make false accusations against Tsai, Lin said.

Lin said other dirty tactics included giving cash to voters, treating them to free tours and paying facility bills on their behalf.

In response, the KMT lashed out at the DPP’s latest allegations and urged Tsai’s camp to stop its “smear campaign.”

Stepping up its efforts to defend Ma’s integrity over recent accusations that he instructed the NSC to monitor Tsai’s campaign, the KMT dismissed Tsai’s claim that Wu had rescheduled his campaign events after obtaining information on Tsai’s campaign schedule. It insisted that Wu’s schedule was previously determined.

“The campaign schedules of KMT presidential and vice presidential candidates are transparent and open. The DPP made groundless accusations without double-checking the situation and refused to acknowledge its mistakes afterwards. Should people depend on such an irresponsible party?” KMT Culture and Communication Committee director Chuang Po-chun (莊伯仲) told a press conference.

Chuang’s comments came after Tsai raised questions on Thursday about the possible use of the state intelligence apparatus to monitor her campaign activities.

She accused Ma’s camp of obtaining information about her meeting with independent Greater Taichung Councilor Lai Yi-huang (賴義鍠) on Wednesday afternoon, as her camp found out that Wu had called Lai earlier the same day to set up an impromptu meeting two hours before Tsai’s scheduled courtesy call.

KMT spokesperson Lai Su-ju (賴素如) said the KMT invited the councilor to meet with Wu earlier this month and decided last Staurday that the two would meet on Wednesday at the councilor’s office in Greater Taichung.

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