Mon, Aug 29, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Lawmaker apologizes for criticizing Hualien voters

DESPICABLE HUMILITY?KMT Legislator Lee Yen-hsiu said politicians who tout their humility, but scorn the public in private, deserve the contempt of the public

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Amid heated criticism, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) yesterday apologized for his remarks directed at Hualien City voters after the party lost a mayoral by-election on Saturday.

“I can pretend to respect the election’s result, but I cannot pretend not to despise the voters,” Tuan wrote on Facebook on Saturday after Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Wei Chia-hsien (魏嘉賢) won the by-election against his DPP opponent, Chang Mei-hui (張美慧).

Tuan deleted the post following an online furor and wrote an apology on Facebook yesterday, which nevertheless accused the KMT of vote-buying.

“I apologize for my post-election comment yesterday... I apologize for allowing a party with a long history of vote-buying to be able to continue attacking a DPP candidate after the election, and for embarrassing our supporters,” he wrote.

“Why can a clean election environment not be maintained without threatening words and continuous oversight?” wrote Tuan, who has repeatedly been critical of the involvement of Wei’s family in vote-buying cases and its connection with China Unification Promotion Party Chairman Chang An-le (張安樂).

Tuan’s comments drew heated criticism, especially from KMT members.

KMT Legislator Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚) yesterday called a news conference condemning Tuan and demanding that he resign immediately.

Hsu called on Tuan and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to apologize to the city’s residents, saying they were duly exercising their rights and did not deserve to be scorned.

Hsu said Tuan, a legislator-at-large, was elected by pro-DPP voters in Hualien, and she asked that Tuan resign and return the ballots to voters.

KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said any party that does not respect democracy would be eliminated.

“Do you [Tuan] despise anyone who does not support whom you support? Is universal suffrage and public participation not democratic enough without your approval?” Hung said.

“Politicians who talk about being humble all the time, but privately despise the public are the ones who really deserve contempt,” KMT Legislator Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) said, adding that the DPP has “incessantly” talked about being a humble administration, but all it has done is provoke conflict.

KMT member Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) said Tuan’s comments were not an exception, as there have been many similar remarks during elections.

It has become common for pundits to criticize an electorate as having failed an intelligence test if an election’s result is undesirable, but criticism that disrespects voters and provokes hatred only harms the critics and the party they are affiliated with, Hsu Chiao-hsin said.

DPP spokesperson Yang Chia-liang (楊家俍) said the election is over and all parties should act with discretion, and called on the KMT to not use the occasion to incite unnecessary conflict.

The DPP’s attitude toward the election’s result was clear, as it acknowledged defeat immediately after the election, Yang said.

All party members will carry on with reforms in Hualien and continue late Hualien mayor Tien Chih-hsuan’s (田智宣) legacy, Yang added.

This story has been viewed 14867 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top