Thu, Dec 26, 2002 - Page 3 News List

DPP says its clean reputation intact

SPEAKERSHIP RACE The party said the results of the race for speaker and vice speaker of Kaohsiung City Council show its members steered clear of engaging in `black gold'

By Lin Chieh-Yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The DPP said its reputation of keeping a distance from "black gold" politics was intact following the election yesterday of the speaker and vice speaker for Kaohsiung City Council.

The party said the victory of scandal-ridden independent councilor Chu An-hsiung (朱安雄) with support from the pan-blue camp showed the true nature of cooperation between the KMT and the PFP.

Meanwhile, the KMT and the PFP said they will discipline any councilors who are proven to have sold their votes.

On Sunday, the DPP's council caucus decided to support Chu for speaker in exchange for Chu's support in the vice speaker's race.

However, facing numerous complaints from the grassroots, the DPP's Central Standing Committee, headed by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), overruled the caucus' decision on Tuesday.

Pan-blue nature

Senior DPP lawmakers said the party's move to retract support for Chu is in line with the public's expectations of wiping out "black gold" politics and that the race showed the true nature of the pan-blue camp.

"The results of the speaker's election again prove that the alliance between the KMT and the PFP is still a `black gold' relationship," said DPP lawmaker Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), who is considered a potential candidate for Kaohsiung mayor.

DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-lang (蔡煌瑯) greeted the result of the speakership race with sarcasm.

"We fully congratulate the KMT and the PFP for their victory in successfully supporting controversial councilor Chu to win the speaker's election," Tsai said. "Now we can have no reasonable doubt that those Kaohsiung City councilors from the pan-blue alliance have illegal financial interactions with Chu."

Chu won the election with 25 votes out of 44.

The DPP's Kao Ying-tsung (高英宗) received 14 votes, the TSU's Yeh Chin-lin (葉津玲) two and the KMT's Lee Fu-kuo (李復國), independent Tsai Song-hsiung (蔡松雄) and the PFP's Wu Yi-cheng (吳益政) received one each.

Chu's 25 votes appear to have come from the other eight independent councilors and the pan-blue alliance, which included 11 votes from the 12 KMT seats and six votes from the seven PFP seats.

Meanwhile, officials at KMT headquarters expressed regret about the election result, saying KMT councilors that voted for Chu will be punished.

"Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) expresses his strongest anger at those party councilors who failed to obey the KMT's policy of voting cleanly and staying away from `black gold,'" KMT spokesman Tsai Cheng-yuan (蔡正元) said.

Threat of expulsion

"If any of the party's councilors accepted money for his or her vote, they absolutely will be expelled," Tsai quoted Lien as saying.

KMT legislative caucus leader Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) also urged party headquarters to investigate whether KMT councilors had engaged in "black gold" during the election.

"Plenty of rumors suggest that the price to buy a vote in speaker's election is NT$3 million to NT$10 million," Lee said. "The KMT should find out whether they had received any money."

Before yesterday's election, the pan-blue alliance said Chu was an inappropriate candidate because of his record in financial scandals and even criticized DPP councilors for having expressed support for the controversial candidate.

The PFP kept a low profile in reacting to the election result, saying it needed more time to understand the real situation.

"I feel depressed because six of our councilors voted for Chu," said PFP Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), who was assigned by the party's leader to monitor the Kaohsiung race.

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