Fri, Jan 06, 2012 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Students not being paid to attend rally: Ma campaign

ACCUSATIONS:The president’s campaign people said a private company was organizing the rally and Ma’s campaign had nothing to do with hiring the students

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou campaign spokesman Chu Kang-chen talks to reporters yesterday about plans for Ma’s campaign rally on Sunday afternoon, denying Democratic Progressive Party caucus claims that students are to be paid NT$600 to attend the rally.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign headquarters yesterday denied accusations from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that it plans to recruit students to attend a campaign rally on Sunday by paying them NT$600.

The campaign headquarters has sought volunteers or temporary workers to hand out balloons and pamphlets at the rally, and commissioned a private company to handle the matter, Ma campaign spokesman Chu Kang-chen (朱康震) said.

“We commissioned a private company to handle part of the organization of the rally, and the recruitment ad was probably posted by that company. The campaign headquarters has nothing to do with the ad, and those part-time workers are not being paid to attend the rally as the DPP claims,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) deputy executive director of Ma’s campaign office, yesterday also denied abuse of power and having instructed civil servants of eight Cabinet agencies or organizations to attend the rally, and said the DPP was making groundless accusations.

The DPP accused Ma’s camp and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of issuing documents to government agencies last month that asked government officials to mobilize civil servants for the rally.

The DPP’s accusation came after the Chinese-language Next Magazine reported on Wednesday that the KMT plans to mobilize a total of 4,000 civil servants to attend the rally in Taipei.

The documents, shown in the magazine report, Lo said, were the minutes of a meeting held by a Taipei City branch of the KMT last month, in which the city branch asked party representatives in government agencies to invite party members to attend the rally.

“We urge the DPP to produce evidence to back up its claims that an order was given by the president to mobilize civil servants and that such a move was illegal,” he said.

Ma, of the KMT, will lead a large campaign rally in Taipei City on Sunday, marching with an estimated 50,000 supporters as part of a final effort to boost campaign momentum and mobilize supporters for the Jan. 14 presidential election.

Rallies titled “Stand Up for Taiwan” will take place simultaneously in Taipei City, Greater Taichung, Hualien and Taitung counties on Sunday afternoon, with Ma leading the crowd in Taipei City and marching the 5km long route from Taipei City Hall to Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, according to Ma’s re-election campaign office yesterday.

Ma’s running mate, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), will join first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) in leading the rally in Greater Taichung.

Chu said the camp expected to mobilize 50,000 party members and supporters for the rally in Taipei City, which is scheduled to end with a carnival-like activity on Ketagalan Boulevard.

The National Security Bureau will work with the police to ensure enhanced security measures are in place for Ma, he added.

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