Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Complaints raised over cross-camp campaigning

CROSSING THE DIVIDE The New Party and the People First Party are unhappy with senior members showing up at rallies for Democratic Progressive Party candidates

STAFF WRITER

The New Party said yesterday that Kinmen County Commissioner Lee Chu-feng (李炷烽) owed the party an explanation for his stumping for Kinmen's Democratic Progres-sive Party legislative candidate Wong Ming-chih (翁明志).

"Since the reported gesture of raising hands may jeopardize the New Party's stance, the party has urged Lee to provide a written explanation and it will be referred to the party authorities to handle," said a statement issued by the New Party.

Because controlling the number of candidates was the common goal of the New Party, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP), the three were campaigning for New Party Legislator Wu Cheng-tien's (吳成典) re-election, the statement said.

Even though Lee is a campaign manager for Wu, he stumped for Wong on Sunday and reportedly raised Wong's hand at the rally and shouted "get elected!"

Lee was quoted by the Chinese-language media as saying that Wong would have been elected a long time ago if he had not promoted independence because the people of Kinmen are greatly concerned about the island's future.

Wu, however, told a press conference at the New Party's headquarters yesterday that Lee's campaigning for Wong was simply a big misunderstanding.

Wu said that it was natural for Lee to show up at Wong's rally because the two men are acquaintances and are both important figures in Kinmen. Lee's presence was just an expression of friendship and has nothing to do with political stances, Wu said.

Wu said it was impossible for New Party members to support candidates recommended by the DPP or any other pro-independence groups and he felt sorry that his campaign opponents had taken advantage of this incident and made an issue of it.

"There is no way for anyone to alienate the New Party. We are confident that the New Party, KMT and PFP will cooperate with each other successfully," Wu said.

Lee did not attend the news conference, however, and had not made any comments about the uproar as of press time last night.

Meanwhile, Taitung County Commissioner Hsu Ching-yuan (徐慶元), a PFP member, has campaigned for DPP candidate Hsu Jui-kui (許瑞貴) and reportedly promised to fully support pan-green candidates.

PFP Cultural and Publicity Department deputy director Hsieh Kong-ping (謝公秉) was visibly angry yesterday when he said the reason that Hsu Ching-yuan had campaigned for Hsu Jui-kui was because the Cabinet promised the Taitung County commissioner to provide both assistance and money for two major constrictions in the county.

Hsieh said such a promise was outright bribery, adding that the PFP would file a lawsuit against Premier Premier Yu Shyi-kun for trying to buy votes with public policies.

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