Sat, Jul 17, 2004 - Page 3 News List

KMT gives Congress `Bulletgate'

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The KMT-produced booklet Bulletgate, which was sent to US congressmen last month.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) launched a campaign in Washington last month to challenge the legitimacy of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election, government sources told the Taipei Times.

"The KMT's representative in Washington, Jason Yuan (袁健生), mailed a 20-page booklet entitled Bulletgate to every US senator and House representative last month," the source said. "The pan-blue alliance is obviously intending to attach the `Taiwan issue' to the US presidential election."

The booklet lists pan-blue alliance suspicions relating to the election, including suggestions that the assassination attempt on March 19 was staged by Chen, that the ballot-counting process was fraudulent and that the referendum held on election day was a trick to evade the law.

The booklet also alleges that a "national security mechanism" triggered after the shooting prevented many soldiers from returning home to vote, and that illegal radio stations spread rumors that the shooting was a pan-blue alliance conspiracy.

"The mysterious shots caused a groundswell of sympathy votes for the pan-green ticket," the booklet says.

On May 20, the day of the presidential inauguration, advertisements without attribution ran in English-language newspapers referring to "Bulletgate" and inviting readers to call a telephone number for more information. The Bulletgate booklet was then sent to those callers who left their details.

The source said that a number of US congresspeople friendly to Taiwan transferred the booklet to Taiwanese officials.

"[The congresspeople] were surprised that Taiwan's opposition would try to spoil the country's democratic achievement," the source said.

A National Security Council official told the Taipei Times yesterday that the council had not received any report on the matter from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Taiwan's de facto embassy in the US.

But such a campaign could only harm the nation's image as well as the reputations of opposition politicians, the official said.

"It is a pity that the entire opposition alliance continues to wallow in the swamp [of losing]," the official said. "Its leaders are unable to look ahead, instead stalling at the day of [the presidential election]."

Su Chi (蘇起), former Mainland Affairs Council chairman during KMT rule and now a top international liaison aide to KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), confirmed that the National Policy Foundation, a KMT think tank, had produced Bulletgate and sent it to Yuan.

"We authorized Yuan to deal with the document. Now we are just in charge of collecting data and updating the latest situation in Taiwan into the booklet," Su said.

"At the very least, Yuan has sent the letter twice to every US congressmen since June," he said.

Su stressed that many friends in foreign countries were concerned about the nation's democracy and wanted to understand what happened during the presidential election. Therefore, he said, the KMT had to provide an account of it to the international community.

"We hope that the US heavyweights will not just listen to remarks that are made by the Chen administration," Su said.

Asked if the letter would meet the alliance's expectations of bringing pressure to bear on Chen's administration from overseas, Su said that his organization was not capable of tracking the reactions of every US congressman.

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