Sat, Dec 27, 2003 - Page 3 News List

KMT slams DPP over dropped ad

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of political interference that had allegedly resulted in the cancellation of a scheduled KMT campaign commercial on a TV network.

"Of course it is political meddling. It is another example of the Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) administration's inappropriate meddling in the media," KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday in response to reporters' questions about the party's TV commercial on Formosa Television (FTV) being dropped.

"It's a manifestation of the backsliding in the nation's democracy," Lien said.

The campaign commercial, which promotes Lien's presidential candidacy by portraying the DPP administration as having led the country into dire economic straits, has been shown on Tai-wanese television since the beginning of this month.

Noting that FTV had cancelled the ad on Wednesday night, although it had been scheduled to run until the end of the month, the KMT claimed the cancellation was the result of an instruction handed down by a "high-ranking official from the President's Office."

"The ad was popular and was well received in central and southern Taiwan," KMT spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said at a news conference yesterday.

"In view of the DPP's declining support rate in polls in central and southern Taiwan, high-ranking officials from the President's Office probably called up FTV on Wednesday night demanding that the campaign ad be cancelled. As a result, the original airing slots on Wednesday night and on Thursday were cancelled without warning," Tsai said.

In defense of the decision, FTV officials said the ad had been dropped because the station's commercial time slots are full. They stressed that it had been purely a business decision, and said the station would make arrangements with the KMT about finding airtime to run the commercial.

Tsai said yesterday that if Chen continues to suppress the party's campaign commercial when the presidential campaign formally starts next year, the KMT-People First Party (PFP) alliance would take up the issue with the Central Election Commission (中選會) and press charges based on the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選舉罷免法).

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