Sat, Nov 13, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP launches propaganda offensive at speaker

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lashed out at Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) again yesterday for alleged ties to "black gold" politics.

At a press conference yesterday, the DPP unveiled its 10 directives for the nation as part of a campaign drive for the legislative elections, but Wang-bashing was another highlight of the event.

The DPP pointed out in campaign literature that Wang had been shielding lawmakers with criminal records or ties to "black gold" politics from prosecution, and helped lawmakers -- such as fugitive Wu Tzer-yuan (伍澤元) and former lawmaker Lo Fu-chu (羅福助) -- skip the country.

Wu was sentenced for corruption three years ago, Lo was found guilty of being involved in organized crime.

"Under the leadership of Legislative Speaker Wang, the protection the Constitution bestows on lawmakers has become protection for the `black gold politics,'" DPP literature said.

Deputy director of the DPP's Policy Research and Coordinating Committee Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑) said that Wang's close ties to Wu are demonstrated by the fact that Wang attended a legislative campaign of Wu Chin-lin (吳錦霖), Wu's younger brother.

Wu Chin-lin is running for a seat in the legislature under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in Pingtung County.

DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said the inefficiency of the legislature in passing bills could be blamed on the nature of the legislature.

"Who should be held responsible for the legislature's loss of integrity and inefficiency?" Chang said.

DPP Information and Culture Department Director Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), also levied accusations against the former legislative speaker and his associates, suggesting that "black gold" politics took place. Cheng also insinuated that Wang was a part of this culture of corruption.

Much of what Chang said about could not be confirmed. The timing of his words signals a mudslinging offensive by the DPP against the opposition camp in the run-up to next month's elections.

Based on a list of criminal verdicts which can be found on the Judicial Yuan's Web site, there is no mention of Wang inappropriately using financial resources during the 1999 speakership race.

"There was also one time when People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) attended a campaign rally with Wang, and Soong told the audience that while vying for the speakership, Wang would not need to spend any money.' This further shows that there is money involved in the race for the speakership," Cheng said. According to the documents provided by the Legislative Yuan, when a legislator who has been banned from leaving the country wants to make a request to the court or the Ministry of Finance for permission to temporarily leave the country, that legislator has to contact the Legislative Yuan's secretariat for help with necessary administrative procedures.

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