Thu, Jul 22, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP counters `Bulletgate'

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday published a document countering the allegations contained in a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) pamphlet which questioned the legitimacy of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) presidency in the wake of the election-eve assassination attempt on Chen.

The DPP's document, a four-page handout entitled "Let the evidence speak," said the "Bulletgate" pamphlet on Taiwan's presidential election, prepared by the KMT's National Policy Foundation and sent to every member of the US Congress by "Ambassador" Jason Yuan (袁健生) of the KMT-PFP Representative Office in Washington, is full of unsubstantiated accusations.

The handouts offered a five-point rebuttal to refute the charges contained in the KMT pamphlet, including the investigation of the March 19 shooting incident, polling results from before and after the shooting, rebuttal the KMT's charge of widespread vote fraud, the legitimacy of the referendum, and the purpose of the constitutional re-engineering project initiated by Chen.

As 90 percent of "Bulletgate" talks about the assassination attempt on President Chen and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), the DPP's document quoted the investigative report made by forensic specialist Henry Lee, who agreed that Chen suffered a bullet wound which could not have been self-inflicted.

The DPP also said in the handouts that Chen has agreed to start the political investigation in order to "provide the people of Taiwan with more concrete answers that deals [sic] with the political and not the criminal aspect[s] of the incident."

The political investigation will be conducted by the March 19 Special Investigative Committee, headed by Frederick Chien (錢復). The DPP said Chien's heading the committee is expected to be credible as he is the current president of the Control Yuan and "a respected former KMT leader who served in many capacities, including Minister of Foreign Affairs and Taiwan's Representative in Washington."

In addition to Chien's endorsing Chen's sincerity for conducting political investigation of the shooting incident, the DPP said KMT Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) also supported Chen's proposal and "advocated the promulgation of a new law to support the legitimacy of the special committee."

In response to the KMT pamphlet's charges that the March 19 shooting incident had altered voters' behavior and given "sympathy" votes to Chen, the DPP said poll results showed 80.8 percent of voters didn't think they were influenced by the shooting, while "92.4 percent of voters did not show behavioral changes in the election."

The DPP also cited the recount to refute the vote-rigging accusations by the KMT.

"After March 20, the judicial recount proved to be the first example of the largest judicial scale process [sic] in Taiwan's history. This fair and impartial process, open to the media, proved that our election was fair ... The ratio of a separate category of ballots, invalid ones of which there were 300,000 due to stricter regulations for this election, runs 2:1 for Chen over [KMT Chairman] Lien Chan (連戰)," the DPP's document noted.

The DPP's handout also countered the "Bulletgate" claims that Chen's push for reforming the constitution is intended to create a "Republic of Taiwan," asserting the constitutional reengineering project aims to "deepen Taiwan democratization" and does not touch on national sovereignty, territory and the subject of unification/independence.

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