The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of involvement in nationwide vote-buying activities for the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections, warning that it might file lawsuits after the elections.
“Election day is only 13 days away, and people around the nation have been tipping off [the DPP] about vote-buying activities, especially in Chiayi County, where vote-buying is committed almost publicly,” DPP spokesperson Yang Chia-liang (楊家俍) told a news conference at the DPP’s headquarters in Taipei.
“KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) has repeatedly claimed that he will reform the KMT, but not only has the party assets issue not been resolved, vote-buying is still taking place,” Yang said.
The DPP recently received information about a banquet for more than 10,000 people hosted by the KMT’s Hsinchu City Council caucus and an alleged cash-for-votes scheme in Chiayi, said Lien Li-jen (連立堅), executive director of a DPP task force to combat election irregularities, who added that the Changhua County Prosecutors’ Office has launched an investigation into a free tour for voters in Fenyuan Township (芬園) allegedly organized by independent legislative candidate Hsu Yung-chin (許永金).
Lien said that he also suspects the judiciary has been giving vote-buying suspects affiliated with the KMT favorable treatment.
“In the Changhua case, the 400 people who went on the excursion were all questioned and the primary suspect was detained. However, information about the Hsinchu banquet was sent to prosecutors prior to the event, but they did not make a move until images from the event were made public,” Lien said.
In the Chiayi case, Lien said that even though “there were serious charges and cash was found, the suspects were released on bail.”
The Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau busted a case in the county’s Shueishang Township (水上), where two individuals, surnamed Huang (黃) and Lin (林), were suspected of distributing between NT$500 and NT$1,000 per vote to people. Huang was found carrying NT$25,000 in cash, and was quoted by the police as admitting to being involved in vote-buying, while three people were quoted by police as admitting to selling their votes.
However, the Chiayi District Court rejected a request by prosecutors to detain Huang, citing insufficient evidence.
Attorney and DPP legislator-at-large candidate Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said the DPP would continue to collect information on election irregularities, adding that if it finds solid evidence of the KMT’s involvement in vote-buying, it would file lawsuits to revoke elections within 30 days of the Jan. 16 elections.
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