Mon, Nov 10, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Mayor accused of power abuse

AP , TAIPEI

A rights watchdog group yesterday accused Taipei' Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of power abuse and censorship in seizing copies of a popular video that pokes fun at a vice presidential candidate.

The video compact disc satirizes People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), the running mate of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

The satire "was an act of good humor," said Chen Yung-chang, a professor of international trade at National Taiwan University.

"The seizure was no doubt a political move," Chen said. "The [city] government has never moved so fast in cracking down on the ubiquitous fake discs."

In the video, actors say they've heard Soong had liver cancer, and joke that the illness was probably caused by his excessive political ambition. In Hoklo, also known as Taiwanese, the word for liver cancer sounds like "hunger of power."

Ma last week authorized the seizure of the discs.

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