Sat, Jun 22, 2002 - Page 3 News List

KMT alleges foul play over Yao vote

`MONEY AND POWER' Six lawmakers from the KMT caucus disobeyed the party's orders yesterday, leading to opposition claims that the DPP bought some votes

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

The KMT legislative caucus yesterday expressed its regret over its failure to block Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) from becoming Examination Yuan president after several KMT legislators defied party orders and voted for him.

While the KMT caucus said it would refer the rebels to the party's Evaluation and Discipline Committee and recommend the strictest punishment, it alleged that the DPP had disrupted its unity through unscrupulous means.

"Disunity was what led the KMT to defeat, but the most important factor was the DPP's money and power, which is what we despise and regret the most," said KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世).

The KMT and PFP accused the DPP of buying votes from opposition legislators for between NT$5 million and NT$10 million each. They also alleged that the DPP threatened opposition legislators with its "administrative resources."

The DPP, however, denied the allegations.

Crucial to the confirmation of Yao's appointment were the votes cast by six lawmakers in the KMT caucus: Lu Shin-ming (呂新民), Lin Pin-kuan (林炳坤), Chen Chin-ting (陳進丁), Yang Wen-hsin (楊文欣), Lin Chin-chun (林進春) and Lin Nan-sheng (林南生).

There was also discord within the KMT on Thursday, when eight of its legislators were able to get to the ballot box despite the caucus' decision to boycott the nominations for grand justices and Control Yuan members.

The eight legislators included four who rejected the party line yesterday -- Chen Chin-ting, Lin Pin-kuan, Lin Chin-chun and Lu Shin-ming -- plus Tseng Hua-te (曾華德), Yang Jen-fu (楊仁福), Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟) and Chen Ken-te (陳根德).

KMT Secretary-General Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) announced on Thursday that the party would hand down the strictest punishment to any rebels, saying, "The unity of the legislators is much more important than their number."

However, the party may think twice before expelling its legislators. The KMT has 68 seats in the legislature and is able to control a marginal majority in the 225-seat legislature by allying with PFP, which has 46 seats.

The KMT has previously been lenient on legislators who disobeyed the party's line.

Although it threatened to punish legislators who refused to vote according to the caucus' orders in two other controversial votes during this legislative session, it has not taken any action.

Those who had previously been threated with punishment include Chen Li-hui (陳麗惠), who went against his party's line during the Feb. 1 elections for Legislative Yuan speaker and vice speaker. Others are Chen Hung-chang (陳宏昌), Tseng Tsai Mei-Tso (曾蔡美佐), Lin Pin-kuan, Chen Chin-ting and Yang Wen-hsin, who disobeyed the party during the Feb. 19 ballot on the KMT-proposed amendments to the Law Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures (財政收支劃分法).

Chen Chin-ting and Lin Pin-kuan are actually independents, although they participate in the KMT caucus.

Chen Kang-chin (陳庚金), director-general of the KMT's Evaluation and Discipline Committee, said the party will handle the cases together.

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