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Fri, Nov 09, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Dec. 1 elections: DPP commercial upsets candidates for the opposition

POLITICAL ATTACK AD The candidates the DPP singled out for killing a budget that allocated millions for child welfare said, at the time of the vote, no budget details had been provided

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Six opposition lawmakers yesterday lashed out at the ruling DPP for launching a "smear" campaign in Taipei, Ilan and Taoyuan Counties. The candidates said that the DPP's TV election commercial groundlessly accuses them of killing the government's budget -- which allocated approximately NT$600 million for child welfare -- in the legislature.

KMT legislative whip Lee Sen-zong (李顯榮) yesterday said that the DPP-led Cabinet's budget proposal was denied because it had failed to attach the budget's details in its proposal. He also said that he fully supported bills related to children's welfare.

The KMT has taken the initiative in pushing forward the passage of NT$1.7 billion for children from poverty-stricken and single-parent homes, for children who are mentally handicapped and for families whose children are missing, Lee said.

He added that the ruling party has violated the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選罷法) by attempting to use false information to attack candidates. Lee said that he has not ruled out the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the DPP if the party fails to apologize.

The party's commercial, unveiled on Wednesday, focused on six legislators -- the KMT's Lee and Chen Hung-chang (陳宏昌) from Taipei County, Liao Fung-te (廖風德) and Lin Chien-jung (林建榮) from Ilan County, and Wu Ko-ching (吳客清) and People First Party's Cheng Chin-ling (鄭金玲) from Taoyuan County -- who the DPP said were "barbarians" for killing budgets that would benefit disadvantaged children.

The DPP's commercial asked that "no matter how barbarian [you are], please do not vote against the budget for child welfare."

Echoing Lee's views, Chen Hung-chang said that he may also file a lawsuit against the party.

Liao Fung-te, moreover, yesterday said that "the party's ad aims to attack its competitors from these three particular counties because its own party candidates have faced uphill battles."

Liao said that when he endorsed -- along with 76 other opposition lawmakers in the legislature -- cutting the budget in early June, he had no knowledge that money allocated for children was included because no details were provided for their reference.

He said that the DPP should not have manipulated the issue, adding that he has long supported proposals to help children.

Echoing Liao's views, Lin Chien-jung said the party has singled out six of the 77 legislators who agreed to cut the budget because the party's election prospects were not promising in the three counties where they were running.

Lin also said that the Cabinet had violated the Budget Law because it failed in early June to detail where the money would be allocated. The legislature therefore voted against passing the budget and requested a report from the Cabinet afterwards.

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Yang-ming (許陽明) yesterday responded by saying that "the party only presents [the public] with facts," adding that the party would continue to air the commercial as scheduled.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) criticized opposition parties during a campaign rally in Chiayi City for cutting back on the Cabinet's budget for social welfare and, therefore, urged voters not to vote for KMT candidates.

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