Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday dismissed a rumor alleging that she is trying to “annihilate” New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) potential presidential campaign two years in advance.
She also made remarks on what she described as the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) traditional smear campaign tactics.
“[The rumor] is simply too dramatic,” Tsai said in response to a question from reporters in Chiayi County, where she attended a campaign rally for the seven-in-one elections in November.
Tsai, who agreed to work as campaign director for former premier Yu Shyi-kun’s (游錫堃) New Taipei City mayoral candidacy, was referring to a media report saying that she did so in order to present Chu with another roadblock before engaging in his widely expected run for the presidency.
Quoting unnamed DPP politicians, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday that Tsai was campaigning hard for Yu and hoped that Chu either edges or loses to Yu by a small margin, so that Chu — one of the strongest presidential hopefuls in the KMT — would lose his advantages over other contenders, including Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), and there would be infighting in the KMT.
The report also said that Tsai has mobilized “Friends of Tsai Ing-wen,” a grassroots organization, to campaign for Yu.
It added that Yu’s polling deficit against Chu could be overestimated, because the DPP’s vote share in the battleground constituency had never finished under 40 percent.
Tsai said she was only “returning a favor” to Yu, who served as her campaign director in the last New Taipei mayoral election, when Tsai secured 47 percent of the total votes, but lost to Chu by more than 100,000 votes.
Additionally, Tsai described the so-called “Yu Chang (宇昌) case” — which the KMT used to attack her integrity during the presidential campaign in 2011 — as “the worst example of how a ruling party sacrificed a strategically important sector for political gains.”
On Saturday, Academia Sinica member David Ho (何大一), a world-renowned AIDS specialist, told reporters that the success of Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司), now known as TaiMed Biologics Inc (中裕新藥股份有限公司), showed that the so-called Yu Chang case was not a scandal.
TaiMed is currently listed at NT$160 on the over-the-counter GRETAI Securities Market (GTSM, 櫃檯買賣中心).
The KMT accused Tsai of corruption and manipulating investments by the National Development Fund in TaiMed when she was vice premier in 2007, leading to a series of investigations by the Control Yuan and the judiciary, but Tsai was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The biotechnology sector could become the pioneering sector for Taiwan at a time when the country is in need of improved industrial viability, and the government should help the sector develop rather than make it a sacrificial lamb for political competition and elections, Tsai said yesterday.
“During the previous presidential election, this administration had not only exploited the strategic industry as a tool of its campaign, but also smeared anyone who was involved in the development of the industry,” Tsai said.
“Hopefully, society would be reminded that the episode serves as the worst example for the nation, and things like this would never happen again,” she added.