Fri, Dec 13, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Yen denies daughter won race through vote-buying

FIGHTING BACK DPP Legislator Yen Ching-fun says his daughter was elected to Taipei City Council through hard work and that media reports stating the contrary are false

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP Legislator Yen Ching-fu and his daughter Yen Sheng-kuan hold a press conference yesterday at which they threatened to sue media outlets for what they said were prejudiced reports about vote-buying. Prosecutors questioned Yen Sheng-kuan about the allegations but did not charge her.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

DPP heavyweight and lawmaker Yen Ching-fu (顏錦福) yesterday defended the reputation of his daughter, Yen Sheng-kuan (顏聖冠) -- a DPP Taipei City councilor -- and said that she did not win her elected office by buying votes.

Yen Ching-fu and his daughter held a press conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning and complained that several Chinese-language news stories have damaged the younger Yen's name with false allegations.

"For example, look at the China Times Express on Wednesday ? the story was headlined with `Yens questioned over vote-buying' ? it seems to me that the reporter believed that my daughter bought votes and his story also made the public believe that was the case, even though my daughter was not prosecuted for it," Yen said.

"Is that fair?"

"I must reiterate: My daughter did not buy votes. She won the election through her own hard work during her first term at the city council."

Yen Sheng-kuan and her father were suspected of buying votes by treating her voters to free dinner while she was running for re-election for the Taipei City councilor election last Saturday. The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office summoned Yen Sheng-kuan on Wednesday for clarification.

Yen Ching-fu told reporters on Wednesday that he was the organizer of the dinner party and all the tickets were for sale since they needed money for the campaign.

He said that he held the campaign dinner party for his daughter on Sept. 29 and prepared a total amount of 2,000 tickets to sell to voters.

"We earned a total amount of NT$1.4 million from the sale of these tickets. However, we also spent NT$1.2 million on arranging the dinner party. Honestly, we did not earn much from it," he said.

"Also, I do not understand how a legal campaign dinner party like this could be seen as an attempt to buy votes."

Yen also said that he would consider working with his colleagues to pass legislation that would prohibit all campaign dinner parties.

"Since prosecutors believe that a legal campaign dinner party could mean that candidates are buying votes, why don't we just simply prohibit these kinds of activities in the future so that nobody would be bothered by such false accusations again?" he added.

His daughter, who has a master's degree in politics from George Washington University, was elected to a second term as city councilor last Saturday by a winning margin of 11,967 votes. She ran in Taipei's fifth constituency, which covers the Chungcheng and Wanhua districts.

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