Tue, Jul 29, 2003 - Page 3 News List

NPA head vows to remain neutral in vote crackdown


National Police Administration (NPA) Director-General Chang Si-liang (張四良) vowed yesterday to comply with the principle of neutrality in the administration's crackdown on vote-buying during the Hualien County commissioner by-election.

"Maintaining the adminis-tration's neutrality during the by-election is our absolute top priority," Chang said.

Chang was speaking at a press conference held by the KMT legislative caucus to urge the government not to take sides while conducting its campaign to stamp out vote buying in the Hualien election this Saturday.

Chang said he had also ordered the 480 police officers carrying out the Hualien crackdown not to campaign for candidates while in police uniform.

However, KMT legislative caucus leader Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) questioned the recent promotion of Chang Lin (張林), the former Hualien County Police Department Commissioner, claiming it was a violation of the police administration's neutrality.

"It's quite suspicious. Was Chang Lin was forced to leave Hualien merely because of his insistence on abiding by administrative neutrality?" Liu asked.

Chang Si-liang responded by saying that the administration "promoted Chang Lin only because of his outstanding performance and abilities, and I am 100 percent sure there's no political interference connected to the promotion."

"Since I came became NPA commissioner on July 1, I have been formulating a list of officers who deserve to be rewarded for their service," Chang, Si-liang said, adding that rumors the promotion of Chang Lin stemmed from a decision by Premier Yu Shyi-kun are groundless.

Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Liao Feng-teh (廖風德) asked the NPA to produce a list of all the candidates' campaign wardens and not just those of the KMT-PFP's nominee Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山).

"If the government is determined make a list of names public, we think the names of all the candidates' local campaigners should be disclosed," Liao said.

KMT Legislator Cheng Feng-shih (鄭逢時) said that some law-enforcement personnel engaged in the vote-buying crackdown are so ill-accommodated that dozens of police officers have had to bed down on the ground.

However, Chang Si-liang said this is because there is no air-conditioning in some police precincts in rural Hualien and some officers have been moved to bigger stations with air-con.

"In the summer heat, it would be far better to sleep on the floor in an air-conditioned room than sweat all night after a hard day's work," Chang Si-liang said.

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