Fri, Jul 25, 2003 - Page 3 News List

KMT on offensive ahead of vote

COMMISSIONER BY-ELECTION The opposition party claimed the DPP replaced the Hualien chief of police because he would not support its candidate, You Ying-lung

By Fiona Lu and Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

More than 300 officers from Peace Preservation Police forces in Taipei and Kaohsiung stand at attention on arrival in Hualien yesterday, where they will help with the crackdown on vote-buying ahead of the county commissioner by-election next month.

PHOTO: YANG YI-CHUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

KMT lawmakers yesterday accused the government of replacing the chief of the Hualien County Police Bureau because he refused to stump for DPP candidate You Ying-lung (游盈隆) in the county commissioner by-election.

But the police chief being replaced, Chang Lin (張林), said he was puzzled by the accusation.

"I don't understand how someone could say such a thing since my transfer is a promotion," Chang said.

He will become superintendent of the Kaohsiung Municipal Police Bureau after the by-election, to be held on Aug. 5.

KMT legislative leader Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) and Legislator Cheng Feng-shih (鄭逢時) made the allegation in both Hualien and Taipei yesterday morning.

"We suspect that National Police Administration [NPA] Director General Chang Si-liang (張四良) violated administrative impartiality by ordering the transfer of Chang Lin because of his insistence on maintaining his neutrality and refusing to join the by-election campaign for DPP hopeful You," Liu said.

Liu demanded the NPA chief to explain the reasons behind the decision to transfer Chang Lin, as well as his own appearance in Hualien, which Liu said increased the workload of local policemen.

Chang Si-liang accompanied Interior Minister Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) and Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) to Hualien yesterday to monitor efforts to crack down on vote buying and other election-related bribery.

Their presence increased the burden on local police officers who had been working overtime since campaigning for the election campaign began, Liu said.

"I believe that Hualien residents would welcome their arrival and enhancing the crackdown on vote-buying. But is that really a serious problem here?" Liu asked.

In Taipei, KMT lawmaker Cheng criticized Chang Lin's successor, Aviation Police Bureau Deputy Commissioner Chen Po-hsuan (陳伯壎). Cheng suggested Chen was chosen because he was Chang Si-Liang's subordinate in the aviation police.

Cheng argued that Chang Lin was a victim of political fighting in the Hualien by-election that had extended to Taipei.

DPP Legislator Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) defended the decision to promote Chang Lin.

"Chang was among four police officials whose transfers were announced by the NPA on Monday. He was promoted to a new post that would locate the police director closer to his residence in Tainan," Chen said.

Chen said that the appearance of top police and justice officials in Hualien demonstrated the administration's resolution in cracking down on campaign bribery.

"It is an open secret that the KMT bought votes around the island during the past presidential election in 2000. The government therefore felt that it must carry out the crackdown," Chen added.

The NPA said yesterday that Chang Lin's transfer had nothing to do with the election.

"Since the position of the chief inspector of the Kaohsiung City Police Department is a superior position, Chang was actually promoted," said Tsai Fu-lung (蔡福隆), the head of the NPA's Public Relations Department. "Chang was promoted along with another 13 high-ranking police officers. It had nothing to do with the election."

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