Wed, Oct 20, 2004 - Page 2 News List

PFP blasts DPP for putting pressure on businesspeople

`GREEN GOLD' A PFP legislator accused DPP bigwigs of putting the squeeze on businessmen in order to raise funds for the December elections

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The People First Party (PFP) charged yesterday that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is improperly using the political clout of major party-affiliated government officials to raise money for its candidates running in the year-end legislative elections.

Referring to recent media reports that the DPP has set fundraising guidelines for influential party members, PFP spokesman Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) called on the DPP to make public the funding sources of its candidates' campaigns.

He added that the guidelines, and the secrecy surrounding party donations, smacks of political extortion.

"We've already received complaints from several businesspeople that they've been under pressure from people in power to give money," Liu said yesterday.

In response, DPP Deputy Secretary-General Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) yesterday denied that the party pressures people to make donations, and said that campaign donors do not receive special privileges in exchange for their funds.

According to recent media reports, the DPP has set fundraising goals for most of its political heavyweights, in order to increase the party's campaign war chest for its year-end legislative candidates.

According to reports, the party has given Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) responsibility for raising NT$3 million, Premier Yu Shyi-kun NT$2.5 million, minister-level government officials NT$500 million each, deputy ministers NT$250 million each and chairmen of state-run companies NT$1 million each.

Chung confirmed that those DPP fundraising targets are correct.

"The DPP should not allow any party members that are now government officials to endorse the campaigns of legislative candidates," Liu said. "After all, are there really any businesses that will refuse the request of a premier or a vice president for money? These businesses are donating money to buy `insurance' from the people with administrative power."

"`Green gold' is more terrible than black gold [corruptly-obtained money]," PFP legislator Pang Chien-kuo (龐建國) said yesterday, in a reference to the DPP's party color.

Liu and Pang made their comments during a press conference held yesterday.

Earlier, relevant government officials, such as Yu and Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) refused to answer questions from PFP Legislator Shen Chih-hwei (沈智慧) about the fundraising guidelines during yesterday's plenary legislative session.

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